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n ET'Sa 

Voice of the 
National Federation of the Blind 

JULY - 1970 

Tlie National Federation of the Blind is not an organization speaking for the bhnd-it is the 
Wind speaking for themselves. 


Pubhshed montlily in inkprint, Braille, and on talking book discs 
Distributed free to the bhnd by the National Federation of the Blind 
President: Kenneth Jemigan, 524 Fourth Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50309 

EDITOR: Perry Sundquist, 4651 Mead Avenue Sacramento, California 95822 
Associate Editor: Hazel tenBroek, 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley, Cahfornia 94708 
News items should be sent to the Editor 
Address changes should be sent to 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley, California 94708 

^ ^ ^ ^ 3|C 

If you or a friend wish to remember the National Federation of the Blind in your will, you 
can do so by employing the following language. 

"I give, devise, and bequeath unto NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND, 

a District of Columbia non-profit corporation, the sum of $ (or, 

" percent of my net estate", or "the following stocks and bonds: ") to 

be used for its worthy purposes on behalf of blind persons and to be held and 
administered by direction of its Executive Committee " 

If your wishes are more complex, you may have your attorney communicate with the 
Berkeley Office for other suggested forms. 


Printed at 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley, Cahfornia 94708 

JULY 1970 



by Kenneth Jeniigan 1 



by Jim Doherty 9 


by Karen Holzmeister 11 


by Mary Medema . , , 13 


by Joseph Spence 14 



by Muiiel Cohen 20 


by Manuel Urena 22 


by Jimmy Nelson 32 


by Hazel Hill 33 


by Robert E. Hampton 34 



by Nellie Hargrove 39 


by Carolyn Connors 41 


by James Omvig , 42 


by Marion McDonald 45 


by Rosamond Critcliley 47 


by Susan Knight 48 



Kenneth Jernigan 

A very disturbing trend is becoming 
increasingly apparent throughout the 
country with respect to the organizational 
and placement structure of programs for 
the blind-a trend which may be more omi- 
nous than anything we have seen in the 
past twenty years. It is nothing less than 
the total obliteration of separate agencies 
for the blind by combining them into larg- 
er catchall departments of government. 

Despite the fact that NFB efforts in 
recent years have brought about the estab- 
lishment of independent agencies for the 
bhnd in both Idaho and South Carolina 
(sepai"ating out the programs for the blind 
from State Welfare Departments) and that 
the organized blind in California and a few 
other states are moving vigorously to 
estabUsh separate agencies, the tide is mov- 
ing in the other direction and is gaining 
momentum. Every state and local affiliate 
(in fact, every member of our movement) 
siiould be alerted and should take vigorous 
action before it is too late. Regardless of 
how well established the separate agency 
for the blind is in a particular state or 
locality it may be absorbed into some 
laige, super-agency purporting to serve all 
of the needs of the handicapped or disad- 
vantaged before the local blind are even 
aware that the change is contemplated, if 
vigilance is not maintained and strong 
efforts made to resist the take over. 

Historically, the first sei-vices to blind 
people in this country were educational. 
Toward the middle of the last century 
schools for the blind began to appear 
throughout the nation. For the most part 

they were separate entities with the single 
purpose of educating blind children. In 
some instances, however, an attempt was 
made to combine them with schools for 
the deaf. Apparently the notion was that 
since both deaf children and bhnd children 
had sensory deprivations, their needs were 
similar and their education should be 
"integrated." The experiment was a fail- 
ure. In reality the two groups had to be 
educated separately with different tech- 
niques to meet the two distinct problems. 
Although located on the same campus and 
combined under one administration, the 
two entities had to function separately. 

Further, the blind necessarily got the 
short end of the stick. The deaf were 
always in the majority, and the orientation 
and planning were slanted toward the larg- 
er group. There are comparatively few 
such combined institutions left and almost 
nobody would advocate going back to the 
"integrated" setup. 

In the early part of the present centu- 
ry many states established commissions 
for the blind. Profiting from the experi- 
ence of the schools, these agencies dealt 
exclusively with the problem of blindness. 
Mostly they operated sheltered workshops 
and had very limited concepts concerning 
the potential and capacity of their clients 
for regular competitive activity. To the 
extent that these agencies failed, the prob- 
lem was not in their stmcture but in goals 
and understanding. 

In the early 1940's a new era came 
with the advent of retrolental fibroplasia. 

Suddenly, thousands of premature babies 
were born blind. Regardless of philosophy, 
it would have been impossible for the resi- 
dential schools to have accommodated all 
of these children. In addition, a new spirit 
was stirring in the land and the parents 
wanted sometliing more than the isolated 
existence which the old-line programs had 

There was a move to establish "inte- 
grated" classes in the public schools and 
separate agencies began to be in disfavor. 

Many people confused the' concept of 
integration of the blind person into socie- 
ty (which was certainly a good thing) with 
the concept of integrating services to bUnd 
persons, which was, of course, of more 
doubtful validity. The distinctive nature of 
the separate commissions began to blur. In 
some states services for the blind, while 
remaining a distinctive unit, were placed in 
the Department of Welfare, or the Depart- 
ment of Education, or Institutions. In oth- 
or-^, rehabilitation of the blind was com- 
bined with general rehabDitation— 
sometimes retaining separate identity, 
sometimes not. 

For the past couple of decades 
approximately three-fourths of the states 
have had separate agencies for the blind in 
one form or another-that is, the programs 
of rehabilitation for the bUnd have been 
administered separately from those for the 
remainder of the disabled. Relatively few 
of these separate agencies have had what 
one might regard as tlie ideal organization- 
al structure. This would be all programs 
for tlie blind in the state located in one 
independent agency, not part of any other 
department of government but answerable 
directly to the Governor and Legislature, 
with a lay board consisting of at least 

some representation from the blind them- 

Until the mid-1960's the situation 
was fairly static. Then, through efforts of 
the NFB, Idaho and South Carolina estab- 
hshed separate commissions for the blind, 
both geared to provide the total range of 
services needed and thoroughly imbued 
with a progressive, vigorous philosophy. 
Other states followed this lead and intro- 
duced legislation to accomplish the same 
purpose. A definite trend became appar- 

By 1969, however, matters had com- 
pletely changed. Programs for the blind 
began to be caught up in the growing 
national avalanche of "concern for the dis- 
advantaged." Actually, four recent phe- 
nomena combined to create the problem. 

1 . All state governments are now be- 
ing told that they need to "reorganize" 
and make their operations more efficient. 
What usually happens is that the Legisla- 
ture appropriates several hundred tliou- 
sand dollars to conduct a study. A number 
of "consulting firms" are waiting in the 
wings to do the job. In most cases their 
recommendations could be written with- 
out ever sending a single man into the 
state since the same plan always emerges, 
thus doubtless reducing tlie costs and rais- 
ing the profits. 

The recommended patterns for re- 
organization for each state are so similar as 
to imply collusion, not corroboration. In 
almost every case there is an attempt to 
combine all agencies and departments into 
about a dozen super-departments, the 
heads of which hold cabinet rank and are 
responsible to the Governor. In this setup 
everything with the same name tends to 

get lumped into the same spot regardless 
of whether it has any similarity. Rehabili- 
tation of the blind (and sometimes other 
services) tends to become part of the gen- 
era! rehabilitation agency, with ever-dimin- 
ishing emphasis and identity. The rehabili- 
tation agency, in turn, tends to become 
part of a large conglomerate such as: "The 
Department of Social Services," "The De- 
partment of Health and Welfare," or "The 
Department of Human Resources." One 
looks at these "new" plans and almost ex- 
pects to see the old Nineteenth Century 
recommendation of combining the educa- 
tion of the bUnd and the deaf into a single 

2. In 1967 the Federal Department 
of Health, Education and Welfare reorga- 
nized. Whether this came about because of 
internal departmental politics or some gen- 
uine beUef that a constructive purpose was 
being served, one cannot say. However, re- 
habilitation, public assistance, and a varie- 
ty of other activities were combined into 
what was called "Social and Rehabilitation 
Services." Welfare had been falling into 
disfavor but rehabilitation seemed to be 
fairly high on everybody's list. This made 
some people wonder why rehabilitation 
would be willing to combine with welfare 
at the Federal level. The ne"./ "Social and 
Rehabilitation Services" was headed by 
Miss Maiy Switzer, the long time Director 
of Rehabilitation. Soon after the 
reorganization occurred, a number of 
states felt that Federal officials were tend- 
ing to give weight to efforts to reorganize 
state programs along similar lines. Whether 
or not this feeling was accurate, there can 
be no doubt that the Federal example had 
influence-if in no other way, but the very 
fact of its existence. 

As a part of the Federal reorganiza- 

tion there came an ever increasing empha- 
sis on "coordination of all services to peo- 
ple." There was much talk of "efficient 
use of human resources." This inevitably 
led to a de-emphasis of separate agencies 
and a pulling together of all functions and 
activities into giant departments at the 
state level. 

3. In 1965 Congress amended the Vo- 
cational Rehabilitation Act to provide, a- 
mong other things, that each state would 
be given up to $ 100,000 to develop a com- 
prehensive state-wide plan for rehabilita- 
tion, whereby all eligible disabled persons 
would be receiving services by 1975. The 
troubles, needs, and hopes of all of the 
"disadvantaged" were viewed as a single 
problem to be solved by one "comprehen- 
sive state-wide plan"~by 1975. The Gover- 
nor of each state was to designate an agen- 
cy or organization to make the study and 
fashion the "plan." In some instances the 
Governor chose an existing entity, and in 
some he created a special organization, but 
in almost all, the influence of the general 
rehabilitation agency was paramount. 
Since the rehabilitation agencies them- 
selves were the governmental units primar- 
ily concerned with the problem and since 
(in those states having separate agencies 
for the blind) the general agencies dealt 
with the larger numbers and the broader 
categories, this is not surprising. 

In a handful of cases, the agencies for 
the blind substantially influenced the 
"plan," and in isolated instances the orga- 
nized blind were heard. By and large, how- 
ever, the trend was otherwise. Mostly the 
bhnd seemed unaware of the far reaching 
significance of what was occurring and did 
not demand or get seats on the state poli- 
cy boards. As the plans began to come in- 
to Washington in 1967 and 1968 tiiere was 

a noticeable trend to recommend tliat 
services to the blind, as well as other small- 
er programs, be submerged into general re- 
habilitation, or even larger super-depart- 
ments. The full impact of these "compre- 
hensive state plans" is only now beginning 
to be felt throughout the country and is 
still another stream feeding the growing 

4. In the early 1960's tlie "Commis- 
sion on Standards and Accreditation of 
Sei-vices for the Blind" (COMSTAC) was 
fonned. In 1966 its successor agency 
"NAC" (The National Accreditation 
Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and 
Visually Handicapped) came into being. 
Still largely financed by the Department 
of Health, Education and Welfare and the 
American Foundation for the Blmd, NAC 
tends to emphasize a type of so-called 
"professionalism" and a "methodology 
and agency structure" which many people 
feel reinforces the three phenomena al- 
ready discussed, thus contributing to the 
fragmentation of services for the blind. It 
is probably easier, for instance, for a li- 
brary for the bhnd to meet the NAC 
"standards" if it is part of a state library as 
opposed to bemg pait of an agency for the 
bhnd. One must hasten to add that the 
NAC standards do not e.xplicitly make 
such a requirement and that the organiza- 
tion strongly disavows any intention to 
compel stifling uniformitx'. The COM- 
STAC NAC influence has probably been 
less important~at least to the present 
time-in creating tlie new trend with re- 
spect to services for the bhnd than the 
three phenomena already discussed. Still, 
it has done its bit. 

Although these four things are prob- 
ably paramount, there are many other in- 
fluences which help to strengthen the pat- 

tern xh'dt is now emerging. The very fact of 
the growing bigness and complexity of our 
society tends to make for bigness and 
complexity in government. The new tech- 
nology, the giant computers, the data re- 
trieval, and the increasing speed of com- 
munication, plus the seemingly irresistable 
human urge to use these things now that 
we have them (the feeling as Simon & Gar- 
funkel put it, that "We Need to Know a 
Little Bit About You for Our Files")-all 
of this doubtless plays its part. 

Regardless of what the current trend 
may be, the reasons for a separate inde- 
pendent agency for the bhnd are as vahd 
and compelling now as they have always 
been. Rehabilitation of the bhnd, for in- 
stance, has more in common with home 
teaching or hbrary services for the blind 
than it does with rehabilitation of other 
disabled groups or the socially disadvan- 
taged. Likewise, hbrary services for the 
bhnd logically have close links with the 
rehabilitation of the bhnd and education 
of bhnd children-much more so than with 
library services for the general public. 
There is, indeed, a need for coordination 
and integration of services but tenninolo- 
gy sliould not be confused with reality. If, 
for instance a state has a Supervisor of 
Highway Construction, a Supervisor of 
Elementary Education, a Supervisor of 
Pest Control, and a Supervisor of Health 
and Accident Insurance, it does not follow 
that integration and coordination are 
achieved by creating a Department of 
Supervisors and lumping all of these peo- 
ple and functions together. Nor is any real 
integration or coordination achieved by es- 
tablishing in a state a Department of 
Health and Highways. Health is one func- 
tion and Highways another, and they can- 
not meaningfully be integrated. If such a 
department is estabhshed all that can be 

accomplished is to superimpose an admin- 
istrative hierarchy on the two depart- 
ments, which will still remain separate 
functions-whether they be called depart- 
ments, divisions, bureaus or what not. In 
fact, the administrative hierarchy will be 
detrimental and will cause inefficiency in 
such a situation. 

Fragmentation is increased, rather 
than helped, by putting all of the services 
for the blind into a division of a super-de- 
partment. What is needed is common 
sense, rather than theory and neatness of 
organizational chart. The services for the 
blind complement each other and form 
one unique entity. They are only very 
slightly and incidentally related to services 
for other handicapped or disadvantaged 
groups, despite the similairity of temiinolo- 
gy. The people who administer services for 
the blind should be able to administer the 
entire package and should not be distract- 
ed by other duties. They should not be 
responsible to people who have other pro- 
gram interests and who may, therefore, 
subordinate the needs of programs for the 
blind to other considerations. At the same 
time the professional administrator sliould 
be responsible to some authority as a 
check and balance and a testing ground for 
his judgment. This should be a lay board, 
preferably one containing a number of 
blind persons themselves-people who 
know firsthand what the services are like. 
If the administrator of programs for the 
bUnd is responsible to the head of a super- 
agency or directly to the Governor he is 
not really responsible to anyone, for these 
people are not knowledgeable and ai"e like- 
ly to be extremely busy with other mat- 
ters. Thus an independent commission for 
the blind administering all state services 
for the blind and visually handicapped 
would seem best to meet the requirements 

for a good program. It is, of course, pos- 
sible to have an inefficient commission, 
just as it is possible to have an inefficient 
program under any other type of admini- 
stration. This all depends on the caliber of 
the people who do the administering. 
However, if all other things are equal, a 
commission would seem to afford the best 
organizational structure. It is certauily not 
the only structure for good programs. The 
important thing would seem to be to have 
an independent, identifiable unit of gov- 
ernment administering as much of tlie to- 
tal package as possible. 

With all of this in mind the occur- 
rences of the past two years are extremely 
disturbing. In 1969, Florida's separate 
agency was abolished, and its functions 
were absorbed into a lai^ger department. 
The same thing occurred in Maine. 

In Wisconsin the situation was some- 
what different but, perhaps, even more 
ominous. First, the separate agency for the 
bhnd was transferred from the Welfare De- 
partment to the general rehabilitation 
agency. The blind were assured that they 
had nothing to fear since all that was being 
changed was the administrative location. 
Several months later the head of the serv- 
ices for the blind was informed that begin- 
ning July 1, 1970, he would no longer 
have any administrative responsibility. 
Counselors for the blind throughout the 
state would now be fully integrated into 
the district offices and would be responsi- 
ble to the same local supemsors as other 
counselors. The former head of ser/ices 
for the bhnd would now become merely a 
consultant. If the situation had been thor- 
oughly understood and vigorously resisted 
when the original transfer from welfare 
was made, perhaps specialized and mean- 
mgful services for the blind of Wisconsin 

could have been saved, but at this stage it 
may well be too late. 

Early in 1970, Ohio took the first 
step on tlie same road. The familiar bill 
was introduced and passed, putting sei-v- 
icc's for tlie blind under general rehabili- 
tation. Tile usual assurances were also 
given (in the iaw itselQ that this was only 
an administrative change for efficiency of 
government and that specialized services 
for the blind would continue unimpaired. 
It can only be hoped that the Wisconsin 
experience will not bo repeated. 

Delaware could almost be used as a 
model for what is happening throughout 
the countiy. The state has had an inde- 
pendent commission for the blind for 
many years, answerable only to the Gover- 
nor and the Legislature. Programs for tlie 
blind have been a single entit>', and (even 
thougli the blind have often felt that serv- 
ices were inadequate) responsibility for 
problems could be focused and interaction 
witii administrators achieved. Each year 
the blind had the opportunity to try to get 
some of their own representatives on tlie 
commission's board. The full time of ad- 
ministrators and staff was devoted to af- 
fairs of the blind. 

Such is the case no more. Delaware 
no longer has an independent commission, 
and the blind of the state are likely to 
have fewer opportimities as a result. On 
March 16, 1970, Governor Russell Peter- 
son signed the .State Reorganization Bill, 
which he had made a campaign issue and 
which he puslied through the Legislature. 
It creates the cabinet form of state admini- 

The previously autonomous Commis- 
sion for the Blind became the Council for 

the Blind, one of four Councils in the Div- 
ision of Sociiil Services of the Department 
of Health :md Wellare. Formerly the mem- 
bers of the Commission h^d full admini- 
strative autlioiity to run the Commission 
for the Blind. Under the new setup, the 
former Conm^i.^sioners are meic advisors 
with only tlie authorit\ to recommend. 
Tile Direcior of the Council for the Blind 
now reports to the Chief of the Division of 
Social Services who hi turn reports to the 
Director of the Department of Health and 

Under the reorganization, tlie depart- 
mental secretary or director is given the 
authority, with the written approval of the 
Governor, to fragment and tear asunder 
the existing administrative entities of his 
Department. This means that he could, 
even without a hearing, transfer Aid to the 
Blind administration, let us say, to the 
Council on Public Assistance; vocational 
rehabilitation for the blind to general re- 
habilitation; talking book machine distri- 
bution to the library', etc. 

Already the administrator of the 
Council for the Bhnd is encountering great 
difficulty in obtaining approval for any 
new personnel or even in replacing present 
personnel when vacancies occur. Personnel 
and fiscal matters have been removed from 
the Coimcil and ttirned over to state-wide 
administrative agencies handhng these 
matters for all state departments. The 
blind of the state ;md officials of the pro- 
gram fear the worst-if not from this Gov- 
ernor, then from his successor. 

The latest victim is Vermont. The 
state Legislature has passed a bill estabhsh- 
ing a "Human Services Agency." Under 
this agency will be a new Department of 
Rehabilitation, designated as the sole State 

agency, which will administer the general 
vocational rehabilitation program, all the 
service programs for the blind which were 
in the Division for the Blind and Visually 
Handicapped, and the programs carried 
out by the Alcholic and Drug Boards. The 
effective date of the legislation is January 
10, 1971. 

South Dakota had a recent narrow es- 
cape. There was a strong move to abolish 
its independent agency for the blind. The 
attempt failed but will doubtless be made 
again in the next Legislature. The Oregon 
Commission is also under attack and may 
fall if strong support is not organized. 

In this new crisis which now faces the 
blind and their programs, the firs,t require- 
ment is information and perspective. It is 
essentia] that the organizations of the 
blind and the friends of the blind under- 
stand what is happening and where the 
trend is leading. There is too often the 
tendency to view changes in a given state 
as an isolated instance instead of part of a 
total pattern. 

There is also the need to close ranks 
and stand together. Even if tiie separate 
agency in a particular state lias not provid- 
ed good service, the answer is not destruc- 
tion but reform. Once the agency is ab- 
sorbed into the super-department, the 
bhnd will get a smaller percentage of the 
tax dollar, less speciahzed know-how, and 
less flexibility to meet their unique prob- 

Over the years work with the blind in 
this country has made notable achieve- 
ments. With all of its faults and short- 
comings it has brought improvement to 
the lives of tens of thousands of blind per- 
sons. As the blind themselves grow strong- 
er in their organizations, there is every rea- 
son to believe that the various agencies 
will become increasingly effective in their 
performance and responsive in their behav- 
ior. Whatever else occurs, the blind cannot 
and must not permit the wholesale de- 
stmction of their agencies. In the name of 
trash burning, arson must not be com- 
mitted, nor must vandahsm be sanctioned 
in the name of reforni. 


"It could result in a major increase in 
cost to local Goodwill Industries." 

This was the key and under-lined 
comment in a memo sent by the Washing- 
ton headquarters of Goodwill Industries of 
America to officials of local Goodwill shel- 
tered workshops throughout the nation. 

The memo was for the purpose of 

making known that H. R. 14705, passed 
by the House of Representatives, had been 
amended in the Senate Finance Commit- 
tee so as to provide the dollar protection 
of unemployment compensation for hand- 
icapped persons remuneratively employed 
in sheltered workshops. 

On February 18, John Nagle, Chief 
of the NFB Washington Office, testified 

of the Blind wished to achieve two goals: 
the immediate goal was to obtain income 
for these workers when jobs in the shops 
run out and the workers are without earn- 
ings. But the Federation's long range goal 
was that of compelling sheltered shop 
management to operate their shops more 
efficiently, to make greater efforts to pro- 
cure long-tenn sub-contract work, to 
modernize tlie kinds of work done from 
the hand-skilled or handicraft kinds to 
machine operations and assembly-line pro- 
duction. The organized bhnd hoped not 
that sheltered shop workers would be 
financiidly better off when unemployed, 
but that the evil of far too frequent unem- 
ployment might be eliminated from their 
lives, and that a greater and more regular 
continuity of employment would result as 
a bettemient in their lives. 

The action of the Goodwill Industries 
and other sheltered shop management peo- 
:'i]e in killing t!ie unemployment compen- 
iiation for handicapped workers in shel- 
iorcd v/orkshops amendment reaffirms 
diat which all Federationists, which all 
;iandicapped people, already so well know 
-that sheltered shop management, that 
s6cial welfare ser\'ice-providing agencies 
and organizations, are primarily concerned 

with their agencies and institutions, and 
only secondarily concerned with the well- 
being of the handicapped people they pro- 
fess to serve. 

The Hartke-Fannin amendment to H. 
R. 14705 provided benefits, greatly need- 
ed benefits, for handicapped people who, 
far too often, must work in sheltered 
employment because open industry 
employers will not hire them-and the 
National Federation of the Blind tried to 
secure these benefits for the handicapped 
workers. The Goodwill Industries manage- 
ment, however, could only see the Hartke- 
Fannin amendment as an added burden on 
the shops, an added burden on themselves, 
and so they opposed and successfully 
defeated tlie amendment. 

The bitter result of this Goodwill lob- 
bying success story is this: in the future, 
when there are no jobs to be done in a 
sheltered workshop and workers are laid 
off, tlie physically fit management person- 
nel will be able to draw weekly unemploy- 
ment compensation checks. 

The handicapped workers in the 
shops will have to apply to welfare for 

* :|: * * * 


-Tim Doherty 

[Editor's Note: The Washington Post story follows Mr. Doherty's account. 

"A little past noon last Friday [May 
15] , a group of sign-carrying citizens gath- 
ered to march." Thus begins a Washington 

Post account of die first event in the Cap- 
ital Chapter's convention weekend. The 
event was a parade to mark the opening of 


National White Cane Week. About two 
dozen members and friends (both blind 
and sighted) participated. The placards 
bore such slogans as: "The white cane 
equals independence" and "The white 
c:^ne: symbol of ability!" Conspicuous on 
each were the chapter name and the 
National Federation symbol. The purpose 
of the parade was to draw attention to the 
positive message of White Cane Week and 
tq publicize the Federation. The number 
of spectators and the amount of literature 
distributed would indicate that both ob- 
jectives were achieved. 

The convention next day was the real 
focal point of the weekend's activities. 
From 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., an audience 
of about seventy-five persons heard and 
questioned speakers representing agencies 
and services in the District of Columbia. 
Jim Omvig, of the Iowa Commission, ably 
filled in for Dr. Jemigan as the banquet 

Tlie information flow was not all in 
one direction, however. The Federationists 
made it very clear to the agency people 
just what existing practices were accept- 
able or even praiseworthy and, at the same 
time, emphatically pointed out deficien- 
cies and necessary improvements. 

Of course, not every minute of the 
day was devoted to work. The awarding of 
door prizes, a cocktail hour and the lunch 
hour provided both diversion and time to 
get better acquainted with tlie guests. 
Some of these-notably the representatives 
of special education and a new V.R. evalu- 
ation center-were extremely interested in 
joining with the Capital Chapter in upgrad- 
ing tlieir programs. 

This was the first local convention in 
the Capital Chapter's ten-year history. Be- 
fore it was concluded, some members were 
already talking about things to be included 
in next year's plans. 


Last Friday, a little past noon at the 
comer of 14th and K Streets, NorlJnvest, a 
group of about twenty poster-and-sign- 
carrying citizens waited to march along 
the sidewalk. They attracted plenty of 
attention, as anybody with a sign in his 
hand does these days. No police were pres- 
ent, however, or National Guardsmen or 
marshals. This confused many approaching 
onlookers; but on reading the posters, 
most either smiled or nodded approval. 
Tlie marchers were blind people, members 
of the Capital Chapter of the National 

Federation of the Blind, and their posters 
carried this information. 

■'It's not really a mi^rch," said Jim 
Doherty, a Washington public relations 
man blind suice birth, who is fluent in 
Russian. "We're paraduig. This is the first 
day of National White Cane Week (May 
1 5-2 1 ) and we feel hke celebrating, so here 
we ar-e") Among the group were men and 
women who enjoy successful careers as 
lawyers, musicians, librarians, computer 
programmers, medical transcribers. 


Most blind people are tired of stories 
about how they overcome the handicap of 
blindness "That's a fine personal achieve- 
ment," said Mrs. John F. Nagle, who heads 
the local chapter of the NFB, "but the 
blind as a group still have other handicaps 
to overcome. We recently put before the 
city council a measure called the Model 
White Cane Law If passed, it will prohibit 
discrimination, for reasons of blindness or 
other physical impairment, in the ai^eas of 

employment, housing, public transporta- 
tion and pubhc facilities. Independence is 
the goal every blind person is striving for. 
We'll have an easier time reaching that goal 
if we are not discriminated against." 

Many passers-by asked for literature 
and whether non-bhnd people could join 
the Federation, "They can," said Jim 
Doherty. "Bhnd people aren't the only 
ones with visions for the future " 


Karen Holzmeister 

[Reprinted from the Hayward (California) Z)a/(v Review 

The applause was extended and 
enthusiastic for Harry Cordellos when he 
walked across the stage at Cahfomia State 
College, Hayward to receive his master's 
degree in physical education. And so far, 
the applause is all that Cordellos has to 
show for completing his graduate work. 
His master's degree has quaUfied him only 
for the ranks of the unemployed. 

Cordellos is blind and he has been for 
about 16 years, since he was in his teens. 
He was bom with glaucoma, a disease of 
the eye, which could not be improved by 
surgery and led to complete blindness. 

job. Along with the master's degree, the 
32-year-old Cordellos acquired a junior 
college teaching credential. He has applied 
at about a dozen Bay Area junior colleges, 
in addition to numerous public and private 
organizations. They liave told him, he 
says, "Come back when you have paid, 
professional experience." 

"It's a vicious circle," he said. "If 
you have experience, and it must be an 
actual paid job to quaUfy under civil serv- 
ice rules, then you'll be considered. But no 
one will give you that first position to 
start the ball rolling " 

Acquiring his master's degree meant 
thousands of hours of work on his part 
and by those at the college who helped 
him. Riglit now, he is finding that his 
hard-won sheepskin is not worth the paper 
it is printed on Veiy simply, he can't get a 

No one includes the college that has 
helped him so much up to this point, he 

Cordellos has mastered sports of vir- 
tually every description He can golf, swim 


and dive, and with a partner nin long dis- 
tance races. He paddles a canoe and water 
skis. He has instructed informally in all of 
these. He operates a camera and commutes 
daily by bus from San Francisco. 

On a volunteer basis for the last two 
years, he has lectured to, and worked 
with, handicapped students in a Saturday 
workshop at Cal State, and now he teaches 
an extension course in the use of power 
tools to students who can see. 

Dr. Richard Rivenes of the physical 
education department, who advised Cor- 
dellos on his master's thesis, said Harr^' is 
"dedicated to solving the problem of 
handicapped people who don't participate 
in activities. He helps out tliose pushed 
aside who might miss the enjoyment of 
games ajid activities. And he has volunteer- 
ed for tlie Saturday lab-he has done things 
we would normally have paid for. 

"Here is a luiique man and person. 
It's sad if society can't absorb him." 

But every job that has potentially 
existed on the campus for Cordellos has 
fallen tlirough, including a natural, as 
director of handicapped services, which 
was not funded this year by the state. "I 
was never allowed to apply for a job while 
doing my master's degree and to this day. 
Dr. Morford still says he will never put a 
blind person in charge of an activity 
class," Cordellos said. 

"I always believed that professional 
judgment was based on facts. The facts are 
simply that I have already worked with 
patients at a veterans' hospital in golf, 
bowling and swimming and have worked 
at Cal State in the adapted P.E. program 
for handicapped children." 

As for accidents-which he claims is 
one of Morford's concems-Cordellos has 
had none; and he said that "the blind 
teacher who would ever accept a job for 
his own betterment at the expense of the 
safety of his class would have to be a self- 
ish egotist ... All of my students operate 
power tools and, I might add, blindfolded. 
We all have all our fingers, and I feel every- 
one can better appreciate the problems of 
the blind because of it." 

Morford declined to answer when 
asked if Cordellos was being passed over 
for employment because of iiis blindness. 
But the department chairman did say he 
has two considerations in hiring a person: 
"the man's professional qualifications 
'and, in the case of safety, if anything 
should happen, it would all come back to 

"People, in thinking 'What a shame 
Harry can't get a job,' often let their 
emotions overrule their judgment. He can 
apply for a position like anyone else, and I 
will judge his qualifications like anyone 

"If someone with his same education- 
al background applies but with more 
experience, whom should we take on 
here? We have three full-time positions 
budgeted for next yciu- and don't want to 
break them into part-time positions." 

So Cordellos, while going for daily 
interviews throughout the Bay Area, still 
continues working in volunteer programs. 

"Only eight students received a mas- 
ter's of science degree in the P.E. depart- 
ment in three years," he said. "I was one 
of the first three or four, in a department 
whose image is very academic and tough. 


"Being blind may put two strikes 
against me, but though a few people may 

liave already called me out, I think I can 
still get on base and score." 

* ;iJ :]« j|: :}; :i; ;}: 


Mary Medema 

April 17th and 18th were two 
extremely busy days at the Iowa Commis- 
sion for the Blind. They were filled with 
meetings, tours, a seminar and general 
exchange of ideas on Federationism be- 
tween members of two state affiliates. 

Early Friday morning students from 
the Commission's Orientation Center met 
eleven membei"s of the Illinois Congress of 
the Blind at the Des Moines bus depot, 
and escorted them to the Commission 
building. They had come for two days of 
meetings to learn more about the Commis- 
sion's program, and to find ways of 
strengthening the Federation in their own 
state. During the day they observed Orien- 
tation classes, took a tour of the library, 
met with Manuel Urena, Assistant Director 
in charge of Orientation, and with Ken- 
neth .lernigan. 

At noon Commission students and 
visitors formed small groups, each visiting 
one of the cafeterias in the downtown 
area, run by fonner Commission clients. 
Here they were able to obsen'e and discuss 
one of the important aspects of employ- 
ment opportunities for blind lowans. 
When the afternoon meetings were over, 
everyone gathered on the roof of the Com- 
mission for a cook-out. Commission stu- 

dents are always eager to show visitors the 
phenomenon of grilling meat out of doors, 
and eating on a spacious picnic table, high 
above downtown Des Moines. 

After the visitors had finished their 
tour of the building in tlie evening, they 
were free to mingle with the students, and 
meet representatives of various chapters of 
the Iowa Association of the Blind who 
were arriving for a seminar the next day. 
The purpose of the seminar was to discuss 
achievements and problems of the I.A.B., 
to encourage recruitment of new mem- 
bers, and to take a look at where the Fed- 
eration is going on a national level. Rami 
Rabby, President of the Ilhnois Congress 
of the Blind, also arrived that evening. 

Saturday morning began with an 
excellent breakfast prepared by Harold 
Beattie, manager of the Commission Grill. 
At nine o'clock everyone gathered in the 
Rehabilitation area of the Commission. 
Mr. Jernigan began the seminar with an 
informative and inspiring talk on issues 
currently facing the I.A.B. as well as the 
Federation nationally. The morning ses- 
sion came to a close after a discussion of 
welfare payments to blind persons by 
John Taylor, Assistant Director in charge 
of Field Operations. 


In the afternoon Manuel Urena spoke 
about chapter organization and fundrais- 
ing. Chapter representatives from Iowa 
raised questions about activities and 
projects in tiieir own communities. The 
visitors from Ilhnois also commented on 
what they were doing in tlieir state Miss 
Olesen, Assistant Librarian at the Commis- 
sion, gave a brief talk concerning library* 
services, after which John Taylor discussed 
rehabilitation. The afternoon session end- 
ed following a discussion of Orientation, 
lead by Manuel Urena, and the raising of 
general questions. 

The day's activities came to a chmax 

with the meeting of the Des Moines Asso- 
ciation of the Bhnd. The regular member- 
ship was augmented by many visitors who 
were introduced and made welcome. After 
the meeting, the I.A.B. visitors began to go 
home, and the Ilhnoisans caught a mid- 
night bus. 

Everj'one agreed that tlie weekend 
had been exciting and profitable. Federa- 
tionists shared successes and problems; 
they came away with new ideas for growth 
and accomplishment; the members of two 
state affiliates were brought closer togeth- 
er to strengthen the spirit and pui-pose of 
the National Federation of the Blind. 



Joseph Spence 

On April 18th the Delaware Federa- 
tion of the Blind held its first annual con- 
vention at St. Andrew's Parish House m 
downtown Wilmington. The Delaware 
Federation has tripled its membership in 
the fifteen months since it was formed: 
membership now stands at ninety-five. 

Shortly after 9:00 A.M., on a beauti- 
ful spring day, President Joseph Spence 
called the meeting to order. In the absence 
of the Reverend Otis Herring who was to 
give the invocation, a moment of silent 
prayer was observed, after which members 
and friends were welcomed to the morning 

A brief business meeting was held 
with committee reports and the election 

of two board members. Joanna Spence 
was re-elected for a two-year term; and^ 
William Driver, a masseur with the local 
YMCA health club, was elected to fill the 
position of Donald Smith on the board. 

Mr, Howard T. Jones, Executive 
Director of the Delaware Commission for 
the Blind, spoke on the history of services 
for the blind m Delaware, bringing up to 
date the present standing of the Delaware 
Commission for the Blind which will now 
be called the Council on the Blind, a divi- 
sion of the Health and Social Welfare 
Department of the Delaware new cabinet 
type of government. Mr. Jones stressed 
some of the shortcomings of this type 


Mrs. Lillian Maden, in cliarge of Aid 
to tlie Blind under the Delaware Commis- 
sion, gave a very good account of what 
standards the Commission sets in this 
department. The average grant in Delaware 
is $101.00, the maximum is $125.00, 
except in cases of special need. 

Mr. Norman Balot, Deputy Director 
of the Delaware Commission, and head of 
the Vocational Rehabilitation Depart- 
ment, gave the latest figures on placement: 

Competitive employment 16 

Vending Stands 4 

Sheltered shop , 5 

Homemakers 8 

Self-employed , . . . 2 

Total 35 

Mr. Perry Sundquist, editor of Tlie 
Braille Monitor and NFB board member, 
wound up the morning session with an 
analysis of the sei-vices for the bhnd in 
Delaware. Perry recommended to the 
Delaware group some ultimate goals which 
would strengthen the programs to meet 
the needs of the Wind citizens of Dela- 
ware. He also suggested that an escalator 
clause be added to the Delaware Aid Law 
to cover the cost of living 

After a fine luncheon served in the 
dining room of the Parish House, the after- 
noon session got under way. Mr. Harry 
Undy of the Maryland Workshop for the 
Blind, Mr. George Kittell of the Delaware 
County Association of the Bhnd, and Mr. 
Harry Marshall of the Delaware Commis- 
sion Workshop, gave talks on their respect- 
ive workshops followed by a question and 
answer period which proved quite interest- 

Mr. Art Seigle, vending stand opera- 
tor from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Mr. 
William Thompson, vending stand opera- 
tor from Baltimore, Maryland, and Mr. 
Joseph Hubbard, manager of the Business 
Enterprises program under the Delaware 
Commission for the Blind, provided a live- 
ly discussion on the vending stand pro- 
grams Delaware has a completely control- 
led program wherein the operator is super- 
vised and controlled completely by the 
Commission. He is entitled to two to four 
weeks' paid vacation, five days sick leave 
and a non-contributory state pension. 
John Nagle pointed out that the program 
paid more money last year to its sighted 
help than it did to the blind operators. Mr. 
Hubbard stated that there were more 
sighted employees in some stands than 
operators. Art Seigle further pointed out 
that he operated a stand with four or five 
employees but he still made more than 
they made put together. 

John Nagle of the Washington office 
of NFB gave a legislative report and 
climaxed the day with an inspiring address 
at the evening banquet. 

Along with John Nagle and Perry 
Sundquist, Mr. Ned Graham of the NFB 
Executive Committee and- Mr. William 
Thompson, President of the Greater Balti- 
more Chapter, were also present. 

Mr. Ray Munis, Second Vice-presi- 
dent, and Mr. Edward Stokes, First Vice- 
president, moderated the morning and 
afternoon sessions respectively Sixty- 
seven were registered in attendance for 
this first convention of the First State. 

:{: ^ ;{: :ii :!j jfc 



[Editor's Note: The Following material is reprinted from a pamphlet recently issued by the 
Bureau of Disability Insurance, U. S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.] 

Who Can Get Disability Benefits: 

Tile social security program provides 
disabUily protection in three different 
situations. Monthly benefits can bo paid 

A disabled worker under 65 and his 
family if he has worked long enough and 
recently enough under social security. To 
have disabiliU' protection, most workers 
need social security work credit for 5 of 
the 10 years preceding the onset of disabil 
ity. For the worker who becomes disabled 
before 31, the requirement ranges down 
with the age to as little as I'/z years. 

A person eiuitinuously disabled since 
childhood (before 18), when his parent 
gets social security retirement or disabihty 
benefits or dies. These "'ch.ildhood disabil- 
ity"' payments can continue as long as the 
person remains disabled. He does not need 
to have worked under social security him- 

A disabled widow, 50 to 60, if her 
deceased husband was covered under 
social security. This also applies to 
disabled dependent widowers. 50 to 62, 
arid to certain disabled sumving divorced 
wives. 5 to 60. The benefits are 
permanently reduced, with the amount of 
the reduction depending on the age at 
which benefits start. 

Disabled widows and dependent wid- 
owers need not have worked under social 

security themselves. They can be eligible 
only if the disability occurs before or 
within 7 years after the spouse's death or, 
in thic case of a widowed mother, before 
or within 7 years after her mother's bene- 
fits stop. 

Disability Benefits for the Blind 

Professional people who work with 
the bhnd play an important role in shapmg 
the social security disability program. 

Program provisions were developed 
with the advice of rehabilitation counsel- 
ors, social workers, representatives of 
blind service organizations, and otiicr pro- 
fessionals witli first-hand kr.ov/lcdge of the 
problems faced by i')eople with serious 
visual impaimients. .Members of these pro- 
fessions arc rcguli;rly consulted on policies 
and procedures for measuring work poten- 
tial and performance and for encouraging 

About 35,000 persons disabled by 
blindness--and 20,000 of their 
dependents-now receive approximately 
S50 milhon a year in disabiiit^' payments. 
The Social Security Administration 
believes that others may be missmg out on 
payments because they do not know of 
changes in the law which have liberalized 
the disability program in recent years. 
Your help in spreading the word about tire 
disability provisions in general will be 
greatly appreciated. 


To give you a better understanding of 
how the program works, and how blind 
people may benefit from it, here are 
answers to some questions that are fre- 
quently asked. 

he did regularly before he reached 55 or 
became bhnd, wliichever is later. (Benefits 
will not be paid, however, for any month 
in which he actually performs substantial 
gainful work) 

What does "disability" mean? 

For social security purposes, "disabil- 
ity" means the inability to work because 
of (1) a severe physical or mental impair- 
ment that has lasted (or is expected to 
last) at least 12 months, or to result in 
death; or (2) "blindness." "Blindness" is 
defined in the social security law as either 
central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in 
the better eye with the use of corrective 
lenses, or visual field reduction to 20 
degrees or less. 

How about a worker who meets the stat- 
utory test of blindness':' What special con- 
sideration does lie get? 

Several special provisions apply to a 
worker whose sight is poor enough to 
meet the statutory definition described 
above . 

For example, if such a person has 
worked long enough and recently enough 
under social security, he is eUgible for a 
disability "freeze" even if he is actually 
working. Under the "freeze," years in 
which he has low eainings (or no earnings) 
because of disability will not reduce the 
amount of his future benefits, which are 
figured from his average earnings. 

A person 55 to 65 who meets the test 
of blindness and who has worked long 
enough and recently enough under social 
security can get cash disability benefits if 
he is unable to perform work requiring 
skills or abilities comparable to the work 

A bUnd worker under 55 can become 
entitled to cash benefits only if he is un- 
able to engage in any substantial gainful 

Where do I send a person with a severe 
visual impairment to ask about disability 

Refer him to his social security 
office. If he cannot get there because he is 
in a hospital or is unable to leave his 
home, a representative from the office can 
arrange to visit him. 

flow much will the benefits he? 

Benefits can amount to as much as 
S204 monthly for a disabled worker and 
up to $415.20 a month for a family. The 
amount depends on the worker's average 
earnings under social security over a 
period of years. 

When can benefit payment begin? 

Payments to a disabled worker and 
his family or to a disabled widow or wid- 
ower generally cannot begin untU after a 
waiting period of 6 full months of disabil- 
ity. A son or daughter disabled in child- 
hood may be eligible for benefits as soon 
as one of his parents begins getting retire- 
ment or disability benefits, or dies, and 
has enough social security credit to be 

If a person has been disabled for 
more than 7 months before he applies, 


some benefits may be payable for months 
before the application was^ made. It is 
important to apply soon after the disabili- 
ty starts because back payments are limit- 
ed to the 1 2 months preceding the date of 

Suppose a person blinded in an industrial 
accident is receiving workmen 's compen- 
sation benefits and becomes eligible for 
social security disability benefits. Can he 
get both? 

He can, but the total benefits he and 
his family get under both programs may 
not exceed 80 percent of his average 
monthly earnings before he became dis- 
abled. This means the average of all his 
earnings, not just those covered by social 
security. The amount of his social security 
benefit may be reduced whenever neces- 
sary to keep within this Umitation. But the 
adjusted combined benefit will always be 
at least as much as the social security pay- 
ments alone. 

// a person who has retired on reduced 
social security benefits becomes blind, 
would it pay him to switch to disability 

If he has the necessary work credits 
and is still under 65 after the 6-morith 
waiting period, it may be to his advantage 
to change to disability benefits. The social 
security representative can explain this in 
more detail. 

Under what circumstances do disability 
benefits stop? 

Benefits are stopped if a beneficiary 
shows he is able to do substantial gainful 
work and is, therefore, no longer disabled 
within the meaning of the law. Also, bene- 

fits will stop if tlie beneficiary recovers 
medically so he is no longer unable to 
work. Benefits to a dependent generally 
stop when she or he marries. There are, 
however, some exceptions to tliis. 

Suppose a blind beneficiary goes back to 
work; how can you tell if his effort will be 

It is difficult to predict whether any 
disabled person (including the blind) will 
be able to continue workmg for any length 
of time. Therefore, the decision as to 
whetlier a beneficiary's work is substantial 
and gainful is usually put off untO he has 
worked in at least 9 sepaiate months (not 
necessarily consecutive). Meanwhile, his 
benefits continue. 

This 9-monlh deferment is known as 
the "trial work period." It gives the bene- 
ficiary a chance to fully test his ability to 
work, confident that his disability pay- 
ments will continue without interruption 
while he works. 

Are benefits stopped at the end of the trial 
work period? 

Only if the work the beneficiary is 
doing sliows he has regained his ability to 
do substantial gainful work despite his 
impairment. Even then, benefits are con- 
tinued for 3 additional months in order to 
help him adjust to being self-supporting 
again. (A beneficiary who is not working 
but recovers medically also gets 3 addi- 
tional months of benefits-the month of 
recovery and 2 additional ones.) 

If the beneficiary is still not able to 
perform substantial gainful work .at the 
end of his xrial work period, Benefits are 


What factors are considered in deciding if 
a blind person's work is substantial and 

All the pertinent facts about his job 
ai^e considered in making this decision-liis 
skills, experience, responsibility, hours, 
productivity, and pay. The amount of his 
pay is perhaps the best gauge of how sub- 
stantial his work is. For example, if a per- 
son's average pay is over $140 a month 
(changed recently from $125), his work 
would usually be considered substantial 
and gainful. 

What if a person's average monthly pay is 
over $140, but a portion is really unearn- 
■ed-such as a subsidy added to help him 
meet living expenses? 

The unearned portion is not counted 
in deciding if he is doing substantial gain- 
ful work. All that counts is the pay he 
earns through his own efforts. By the same 
token, if it is necessary for someone to 
help him with his job, consideration is 
given to the value of this help in figuring 
actual earnings. . 

Does an average monthly pay of $140 or 
less always mean that benefits continue? 

Not always. Despite such earnings, a 
person may be considered able to do sub- 
stantial gainful work if he shows he can do 
more work than he is actually doing or if 
he already does work of about the same 
amount and quality as non-disabled work- 
ers in his corranunity who do similar work 
for a living. 

Are the same earnings guides used to eval- 
uate the work activity of beneficiaries 
employed in sheltered workshops? 

There is one slight variation. A work- 
er in a sheltered workshop whose pay is 
$ 140 a month or less is considered not to 
be doing substantial gainful work. It is not 
necessary to compare his work with that 
done by non-disabled people in the com- 

How is substantital gainful work evaluated 
for a person who is self-employed? 

About the same way the work of a 
salaried person is evaluated. All the perti- 
nent facts about his work are considered- 
his skills, experience, responsibilities, 
hours, productivity, and earnings. 

Business income is influenced by 
economic conditions, the value of unpaid 
services of family members, etc. More 
emphasis is therefore placed on the extent 
of the activities performed in connection 
with the business, and less placed on the 
amount of net earnings. 

Suppose a blind beneficiary who returns 
to work or recovers becomes disabled 
again and is again eligible for benefits; do 
his benefits start, as before, with his 7th 
month of disability? 

If he again becomes disabled within 5 
years (7 years for widows and widowers), 
his benefits can start again witli the first 
full month of disability. He does not have 
to go through a "waiting period" as he did 
the first time. 

What is done for a blind claimant in the 
way of rehabilitation? 

At the time a decision is made on his 
disability claim, the apphcant is also con- 
sidered for possible services by his State 
vocational rehabilitation agency. If he is 


considered to have good rehabilitation 
potential, he may be offered services by 
the agency. 

Such services include counseling, 
teaching of new employment skills, and 
job placement. These services are generally 
financed from State-Federal appropri- 

Does social security Iielp finance the 
rehabilitation of beneficiaries? 

fits. In any given year, the maximum 
amount allocated nationally for this pur- 
pose is equal to 1 percent of the total 
amount paid in social security disability 
benefits in the previous year. Cun^ently, 
this ainounts to nearly S20 million a year, 
but the figure will go up as total benefits 
paid increase. 

Can a blitid claimant be found disabled 
even if lie is a good rehabilitation pros- 

Yes. The Social Security Act peiinits 
money to be made available to State vo- 
cational rehabilitation agencies from social 
security trust funds to finance the rehabili- 
tation of persons receiving disability bene- 

Yes. The decision that a claimant is 
disabled is based on hh present capacity to 
work, rather than the ability he may attain 
after receiving vocational rehabilitation 



Muriel Cohen 

[Editor's Note: The following story is reprinted from the Boston (Massachusetts) Herald 
Traveler According to the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, there are four bUnd 
teachers now employed in tlie public schools of the commonwealth. The most recent 
addition to this slowly-opening field is Margaret Carey, reading instructor at the Abraham 
Lincoln School in Cambridge.] 

School opened in Cambridge in 1968 
on Wednesday, September 4. Miss Margar- 
et Carey, teacher of a combined first and 
second grade at the Abraliam Lincoln 
School greeted her class on that first day 
and helped start, them on their year's work 
on Thursday and Friday. That Friday 
night she went to sleep in her Arlington 
home and wakened on Saturday morning 
totally bhnd. 

In September, 1969, just one year 
after slie was struck by a handicap that 
had been unsuspected. Margaret Carey was 
back at the Abraham Lincoln School, the 
only blind certified teacher in Massachu- 

Her return to teaching is not only a 
personal triumph, Margaret Carey wants 
her story told to prove that bhnd people 
can function in jobs that are barred to 



out bitterness. 

Sitting at a table, with her tape 
recorder, her Braille record book and pri- 
mary readers, in the basement Ubrary of 
the Lincoln School, she talks very easily 
and without any self consciousness about 
her handicap and her adjustment to an 
experience that could only be shattering 
for an attractive young school teacher. Her 
soft green eyes turn toward her visitors, 
and her sightlessness is hard to accept. 

Since 1958 the state has permitted 
certification of bUnd teachers, but, in fact 
according to Miss Carey not one has been 
hired because superintendents are reluc- 
tant to assume the responsibility for a 
teacher without sight. 

But Canibridge school officials say 
that Miss Carey has taught them how 
wrong this attitude could be. Principal 
John G, O'Keefe, under whose supervision 
Miss Carey works, said last week that he 
had been more fearful than slie about the 
obstacles of teaching when bhnd. "But I 
can say that I am delighted with her per- 

Margaret Carey was graduated from 
Simmons College in 1959, a psychology 
major. She taught the following yeai^ in 
Hartford, Connecticut, which counted as 
practice teaching toward her certification 
in Massachusetts Then she worked in Dan- 
vers, teaching remedial reading and math. 

For the next six years she tauglit at 
Lincoln School. Meaiiwhile, she also earn- 
ed a master's degree in education from the 
State College at Boston. 

In .Fanuaiy, the Commission for the 
Blind supplied a teacher of Braille who 
tutored her at home By springtime when 
she enrolled at St. Paul's Rehabilitation 
Center in Newton, Miss Carey was suf- 
ficiently competent in this new language 
to be able to teach Braille to her fellow 

It was in that period that Miss Carey 
gave real thought to returning to teaching, 
hoping that she could become a home 
tutor for other blind adults. But her own 
tutor, Lawrence Duncan, who himself is 
bhnd, refused to let her settle for tutoring. 

Inasmuch as she was a certified teach- 
er, he said she should return to teaching in 
a regular school situation. 

It was Duncan who pursued this Une 
with Cambridge school officials until he 
won their consent. 

There's no doubt now, O'Keefe 
acknowledges, that Duncan was right. 

Miss Carey is now the remedial teach- 
er at the Lincoln School working with 
children, either individually or in groups 
up to five. She follows their progress as 
they read from a text with a tape recorder, 
equipped with an ear plug. 

Each day a volunteer comes to Lin- 
coln School or to Miss Carey's home to 
transcribe the children's readings onto the 
tape. Now, according to O'Keefe, every 
book in the school is in her tape library or 
is in BraOle. 

What did she do last September? "I 
stayed home," she replies simply and with- 

The flash cards used to teach young- 
sters words have Braille so that the teacher 


can check on the responses. 

Miss Carey plays Scrabble, a word 
game, with some of her children to stim- 
ulate and expand their vocabulaiy The 
wooden squares each are marked in 

She writes on the blackboard with 
remarkable ease and skill. "When the 
children write on the board, tliey guide 
my hand so I can check on their accuracy 
as they move along with the chalk," she 

She taught the children to read their 
own names in Braille. 

She uses all the techniques she knew 
when she was able to see in working with 
remedial reading problems: phonics, con- 
text and stiiictural analysis. 

She sliows off a kit which enables her 
to write on polyethylene film so that the 
letters are raised and she and the children 
can both read the writing simultaneously. 

Another accomphshment of tliis 
extraordinary woman, who wears her 
skirts fashionably mini-length and her hair 
ill a cluster of auburn curls, is her ability 
to knit. She scorns the Braille instruction 
book and just completed a sweater she 
designed herself. 

She hopes she is making it easier for 
the other education students. She knows 
of one now with the same handicap. Miss 
Carey said that a girl at Emmanual, partial- 
ly sighted, but legally bhnd, is training to 
be a teacher. 

"And that's the only reason I'll tell 
my stoiy." 


Manuel Urena 

"The Sixth Annual Banquet of the Alum- 
ni Association of the Iowa Commission for 
the Blind Orientation Center shall be held 
in Des Moines on November 6, 1965." 

Have you wondered what kind of an 
impact such a newspaper announcement 
would have upon the casual observer~the 
innocent peruser idly glancing through 
innumerable pages with reams of informa- 
tion and countless notices? Some would 
pass such a notice quickly in the same way 
that most are affected by happenings in 

foreign lands. One man might pause just 
long enough for liis mental processes to 
commence conjuring up hosts of helpless 
figures being pushed, prodded, led or 
pulled toward laden tables filled with the 
bountiful offerings of some civic minded 
group or generous philanthropist. He 
would hurriedly move on to more enter- 
taining reading feeling that the 
unfortunates of the community were in 
good hands and that in any case it was 
really none of his business. If he thought 
about it he would salve his conscience by 


promising himself that next time he would 
give more when the collection came for 
the Christmas dinner for the "needy". At 
the very least he would donate more of his 
broken-down furniture to provide menial 
and repetitive jobs for the so-called 
broken-down members of the town 

Still another would see the words and 
in all likelihood his eyes would become 
clouded for he would think of a neighbor 
or a stranger or more poignantly of a loved 
one: father, mother, son or daughter, wife 
or husband, who through no fault of their 
own had been hurled into the world of 
"endless night" where none but the defec- 
tive may enter. In the depths of liis grief 
this individual would seek explanations 
and reasons, searcliing where he might 
have altered events He would doubtlessly 
beseech the deity to rearrange circum- 
stances in order to ameliorate the plight of 
those near and dear. 

Finally, in our speculation of what 
the uninformed would envision, would be 
that person who has a sUght acquaintance 
with a successful blind individual This 
competent blind man would inconspic- 
uously be performing as a lawyer, machm- 
ist, fanner, professor, businessman, engi- 
neer or any one of several callings. He 
would be at the workbench or at the desk, 
unobtrusive and unassuming in tlie per- 
formance of his daily tasks. Our reader, 
however, would refuse to accept this 
working man as normal or natural but 
would insist on clothing him in super- 
natural attire, Moreover, he would prob- 
ably assume that many of those attending 
the festive occasion would be similarly en- 
dowed with miraculous powers. 

Whatever the intent or motive for 
such conjectures the result inescapably 

reaches an injurious consequence. In the 
fashion of another day, when it was said 
that all roads led to Rome, it is not diffi- 
cult to surmise that although the 
approaches may vary, all paths wind to- 
ward the same dread locaUty-the country 
of the blind where shopworn notions of 
the dependent and emotionally un- 
balanced sightless eternally reign. For the 
ultimate effect of such characterizations is 
to sever the visually impaired from the 
body of society-declaring to one and all 
that this category of men is so different, 
so distmctive as to require total separa- 
tion. It is readily apparent that the quali- 
ties ascribed are negative in content and 
resulted in harshness and malevolence. 

This separation is a double-edged 
sword; first and foremost, by cutting off a 
member of society it ensures its starvation 
and death through lack of nourishment. 
Of equal import this parting denies to the 
body pohtic the gifts wliich that member 
would have contributed. The conclusion is 
obvious: all mankind is the worse for this 
loss. The poet Robert Frost succinctly put 
the case: 

"Before I built a wall I'd ask to know 
What I was walling in or walling out. 
And to whom I was like to give offense. 
Something there is that does not love a 
wall " 

We know positively that the purging 
of those who cannot see from society is 
not only irreconcilable with our historic 
traditions of freedom and democracy but 
that such conditions fail to recognize the 
dignity of the human spirit. Through ob- 
servation or first hand experience all of us 
realize that loss of vision does not auto- 
maticaUy deprive an individual of mental- 
ity, mobility or emotional equilibrium; 


quite to the contrary, sight is a sense 
which is independent of otlier attributes- 
othei-wise, how is it to be explained that 
incompetence, emotional instabUity, 
dependency and the like are qualities 
which plague sighted men and women? 
Surely not even the worst diehard of the 
era of custodialism would have us believe 
that such habilities are monopolized by 
those who cannot see. 

Dr. Jacobus tenBroek states the case 
accurately when he observes that the ele- 
ments of blindness may be divided into 
two areas-the denotative and the conno- 
tative. The former relates to the physical 
loss; that is, lack of visual acuity-a disabil- 
ity. The latter is concerned with the social 
implications; that is. the behefs, super- 
stitions and misconceptions held by orga- 
nized society about what the loss of sight 
entails. Lack of sight is properly the 
domain of medical men. The handicap 
(what blindness is thought to constitute) is 
the province for everybody. For a multi- 
pUcity of reasons too involved to fuOy dis- 
cuss here, the heritage of the bUnd is 
heavily encrusted with the outmoded con- 
ceptions of bygone ages. Social changes do 
not immediately respond to scientific find- 
ings and consequently truths that can be 
demonstrably proved encounter resistance 
from many quarters before attaining pop- 
ular acceptance-social scientists refer to 
this phenomenon as social lag. The sig- 
nificance of social lag is that while there is 
an abundance of evidence about the abili- 
ties of the blind the climate for acceptance 
remains hostile. In order to bring about a 
more tranquil and receptive atmosphere- it 
is imperative that we understand the 
psychology that causes this inclemency. 
We must fully understand and be aware of 
the many guises and disguises it employs 
to banish the bUnd from the fraternity of 

It should be unmistakably clear that 
lack of employment opportunities is the 
curse of the blind. Without the means to 
acquire the necessities of hfe incentive is 
crippled in its embryonic stage. Develop- 
ment of initiative to a large degree hinges 
upon the hope of ever-rising expectations. 
Thus while I will be principally preoccu- 
pied with other focal points of the com- 
plexities of blindness, a proper perspective 
must be maintained. One must always 
keep foremost the notion that the indis- 
pensable prerequisite in a platfoiTn pro- 
mulgated for equality is the plank stating 
tlie uncompromising objective of full and 
fair employment opportunity without 
irrelevant considerations and discrimina- 
tory practices. 

The exile of the blind from the main 
thoroughfares of human endeavor has its 
roots in the connotative aspect, the handi- 
cap. As it is with many other groups the 
characteristics ascribed to the sightless 
have their origins in antiquity antedating 
biblical history. However, not until the 
modem epoch and the development of the 
discipline of sociology have we become 
concerned about the process by which 
stereotypes are crystallized. 

In the process of rejecting selected 
people from the community it is essential 
that they be easily identified. The mark 
may be a religious trait or perhaps national 
or cultural customs~or as it is in the case 
of the Negro and the bhnd, it may be a 
clearly manifested physical quality. In any 
event the important factor is that they 
may be easily distinguished and therefore 
easily branded Once this is accomplished 
the assault moves forward relentlessly and 
strips these victims of their individuality 


insisting that all within the category act 
alike, work to the same degree of com- 
petency-usually lower-and think uniform- 
ly. The achievement of this objective is 
most crucial for it is at this pomt that 
unceasing injury is inflicted. Pause for a 
moment, reflect and consider vi'hat it 
means to be robbed of one's individuahty. 
Aristotle proclaimed long ago that man is 
a rational animal; which is to say that the 
property responsible for elevatmg man 
above the rest of the species and granting 
to him the title, King of the Universe, is 
his mental supremacy. Possession of 
mental prowess unquestionably is the 
prime ingredient that makes human dig- 
nity possible, those quirks and idiosyn- 
cracies which stamp us with unique attri- 
butes insuring a singular entity Denial of 
individuality necessarily culminates not 
only in extracting the blind from society 
but pushes th£m beneath the rest of 
humanity classifying them as less than 

The most blatant demonstration of 
this brutal process occurred in Nazi 
Germany during World War II There in 
the name of science the full machinery of 
government was let loose to vomit forth 
torrents of misinformation cnielly calcu- 
lated to reduce the Jews to a subhuman 
position. Again and again it has been 
revealed that only by investing the Jewish 
people with unhuman properties was the 
government able to force the German peo- 
ple to perpetrate the atrocities which later 
came to light. Interestingly enough, a 
number of soldiers and government 
officials rather than execute the national 
policy discQvered a way out through sui- 
cide. The relevance of this discussion is 
not to suggest that bUnd Americans are 
being subjected to similar treatment but it 
is to indicate that the failure to recognize 

visually impaired men and women as 
equals is but a waystation on the same 
street. The bhnd are held up to society as 
a subordinate class of beings; they are pic- 
tured as totally incompetent, incapable of 
attaining maturity, unable and unwilling 
to speak or think for themselves. 

If some would dispute these findings, 
judging them too harsh and exaggerated, I 
wish to set forth and examine eleven 
stereotyped characteristics that lend sub- 
stance and validity to the foregoing testi- 
mony. These social chains tenaciously link 
the bhnd to the bondage of the past and 
add an oppressive burden upon their 
backs-resulting in impeding and frustrat- 
ing their advance into the avenue of equal- 
ity and activity. 

To those familiar with the handicap 
of bhndness this checklist will offer no 
surprises-no novelties whatsoever. Indeed, 
confrontations with one or another of 
these eleven assumptions are so frequent 
that perhaps we are to be pardoned if we 
are slow to react positively when meeting 
a person free from these prejudices. 

Item one. The Goodly and the God- 
ly. In this garb the blind man is pictured as 
an uneartlily creature devoid of vice, suit- 
ed only for deep meditation and 
reverence. Certainly it would be inconceiv- 
able for him to mix and deal with tlie 
hurly-burly of everyday Hfe, This attitude 
is perfectly depicted by an episode which 
occurred when I was a student at the 
University of Cahfornia. As part of a zool- 
ogy course I was required to study the 
reproductive system. As our examination 
approached and the professor capsulized 
the material, I suddenly discovered that 
something was drastically wrong: 
questioning the reader revealed that 


certain portions of tiie text had been 
deleted on the premise that. bUnd people 
were not interested in such things. On a 
larger stage, these assumptions can be 
obseiTed at work through tlie books that 
are selected to be transcribed into Braille. 
For many years the organized blind have 
pressed for tlie abohtion of what amounts 
to censorship by those in charge of alloca- 
ting the money appropriated by a gener- 
ous Congress. Thus far our pleas have 
fallen to a large extent on deaf ears. No 
doubt the reading matter available to the 
blind has been partly responsible for creat- 
ing this image of the blind. 

I want to leave no misunderstanding 
about what I'm describing. Many who can- 
not see are deeply religious and hopefully 
many are endowed with numerous virtues; 
the important feature to note is tliat many 
arrive at such a point when tliey still have 
vision or because of earlier training. The 
tnith of the matter is that bhndness and 
what I have been describing have little if 
any interdependence. 

Item two, The Wicked and Accursed. 
Fortunately this trait seems to be disap- 
pearing from daily contacts. However, 
signs that there is still life in the old horse 
are not impossible to uncover. In August 
of this year of grace, 1965, while operat- 
ing a booth at a count>' fair, one of the 
students (incidentally, he is here with us 
tonight) was informed that his blindness 
was directly traceable to his previous 
mischievous and wicked conduct. Since I 
am rather well acquainted with this fehow 
I will vouch for the fact that his behavior 
could stand some improvement, but that is 
a far cry from declaring that punishment 
for his sinful past was meted out by 
destroying his eyes. 

One is almost overwhelmed by the 
inconsistency and lack of any semblance 
of intelligence behind these assertions. 
Contrast items one and two and the results 
stagger the mind. On the one hand a blind 
man is thought to be otherworldly, envel- 
oped in a mystic cloak of virtue; on the 
other he is accused of being a follower of 
Satan, if not his chosen representative. 
Whichever plank he chooses to walk clear- 
ly he walks it alone. 

Item tliree. The Frail and Anemic. 
Dogging our every movement is the stead- 
fast and immutable idea that our very next 
step will see us fall utterly exhausted. In a 
haunting refraiji someone is always telling 
us that: he will carry it for us, or lift it for 
us, or rearrange it and do it for us. Some 
years ago a seventy-five year old father 
insisted that his six-foot-tall, two hundred 
pound blind son was fully capable of get- 
ting along independently in the world. 
When I escorted them into a room he ex- 
hibited considerable annoyance and anger 
when I prevented him from carrying his 
son's luggage. Not too long ago a man was 
advised by his neighbor to wait until his 
wife returned home so that she could 
carry a box of records upstairs for him. 
Many other examples are easily recalled 
but why go on endlessly. The truth of the 
matter is plain for anyone who cares to 
look: the blind are no less strong or no 
more weak than their sighted counter- 
parts--bhndness and strength are not 
mutually exclusive. 

Item four. The Social Untouchables. 
This prejudice manifests itself in diverse 
ways. Paradoxically, Father Thomas 
Carroll's Twenty Lacks and Losses asserts 
that it is the blind that lose facility with 
spoken communication. Yet how many of 
us have entered a room, an office, a bus or 


the like and listened to tlie total silence 
descend almost as if someone had waved a 
wand and sealed the lips of everyone 
simultaneously. Ordinarily 1 am not a gam- 
bling man but I would be willing to wager 
a few coins that the good Father has not 
experienced the reverse. This avoidance 
condition is present not because the blind 
wish or labor for it; quite the contrary, we 
desire full integration and complete liber- 
ation from that isolation which has impov- 
erished our minds and bodies and which is 
chiefly responsible for fostering those 
characteristics that misguide the general 

Item five, the Prey of Pryers. At the 
most inconvenient times, with disconcert- 
ing; regularity, this problem crops up and 
usually taxes all the diplomacy and 
patience one can muster. The issue to 
which I refer presents itself either publicly 
or privately. To estimate the instances in 
which all of us have had to field embar- 
rassing queries about how we handle our 
affairs, conduct our private lives, perform 
our intimate personal daily tasks and the 
whole gamut of similar details, would be 
beyond our capacity. By what right the 
sii^hted citizen of average or superior intel- 
lect believes he has the authority to pry 
into these areas is not clear, but we know 
that at the root of this issue is the absence 
of dignity. The average person would not 
countenance such probings into his 
personal business. He would regard such 
conduct as insulting since it is only proper 
to probe into the particular goings and 
comings of lesser entities. Dignity ensures 
respect; it is difficult if not totally impos- 
sible to have one and not the other. 

Item six. Impurity. The following 
quotation is taken from Hope Deferred, a 
book known to all in this room: 

"A nuin was rejected as a donor by tli'i 
blood bank in his city--not on tlie grounds 
tJiat Ins blood was not red, that it was 
diseased or defective, or that he had too 
little of it-but on the grounds that he was 
bli)id. " 

In case some may think that this alludes to 
an incident twenty or thirty years ago, 
you may be somewhat startled to discover 
that this refusal to permit a sightless per- 
son to give blood occurred less than ten 
years ago in this country. The character- 
ization becomes more insidious and naked 
in its application when viewed from 
another direction. Usually when a son or 
daughter selects a mate it is an occasion 
for spontaneous celebration and exchang- 
ing of congratulations all around. But once 
it is revealed that the prospective bride or 
bridegroom is blind, the cause celebre 
becomes casus belli and finally results in 
family discontent and sometimes pennan- 
ent rupture. Not until sight or the lack of 
it becomes an irrelevancy in such issues as 
giving blood and the desirability of a mar- 
riage partner, shall those of us with faulty 
eyes be assured of the genuineness of pub- 
lic regard and our total acceptance as first 
class citizens. 

Item seven. Permanent Childhood. 
Most of the items that I have enumerated 
and those that are still to follow have an 
element of the present one-all imply to a 
greater or lesser extent that the blind are 
children. This permanent immaturity in 
which the blind are clad is part and parcel 
of the dilemma in which the sightless find 
themselves. Children in our culture are 
cherished, loved, sheltered and protected 
in a haven free from gales and holocausts. 
Popular beliefs and customs dictate that 
youth should only be exposed to the joy- 
ful and pleasurable-time enough in 


maturity to experience the sordidness and 
hardships that are concomitants of human 
existence. The trouble Ues in the fact that 
the blind are never allowed to attain 
maturity but cannot be fully shielded 
from the travails and vicissitudes of adult- 

In its superficial manifestation this 
stigma is a nuisance and casual embarrass- 
ment, as when a waitress asks the sighted 
companion what the blind person will eat 
or whetlaer he likes cheese with his apple 
pie. In its more profound form this "bene- 
volent" stereotype works inseparable 
injun,' and is the greatest barrier of all the 
stumbling blocks over and around which 
the blind must travel in order to obtain 
the good life. When traced to its full impli- 
cations this posture declares to all that 
those witliout sight are wanting in mature 
judgment, that they are incapable of 
expressing themselves in a cogent, logical 
form, and that they lack the capacity 
and/or the incUnation to speak for them- 
selves. The syllogism might read: All chil- 
dren are dependent, The blind are forever 
children, Therefore the blind now and 
always shall be dependent. 

The fact that the Kennedy-Baring 
Right to Organize legislation is not now a 
statute is an indication of how deeply 
entrenched this conception of immaturity 
is imbedded in tlie fabric of our society. 
Even though the battle was lost, the cam- 
paign rages and we rhust remain constantly 
alert for otherwise we shall lose the fruits 
which we so laboriously cultivated in the 
congressional hearings. Much that we 
would have secured with the passage of 
the Right to Organize Bill is ours today; 
the task ahead is to build upon and 
expand the dimensions of organization 
and consultation. Only by sustaining the 

impetus shall we fulfill the goal we set for 
ourselves at midcentuiy. 

Item eight. Protective Exclusion. Of 
all the prejudices and discriminatory prac- 
tices that bedevil the way of the blind 
none is more galhng and alien to the 
human spirit than those that derive their 
source from such fooHsh logic and 
chuckleheaded nonsense as to be laugh- 
able, were they not so conspicuously 
prevalent. Within the last two years the 
student body of the Center was denied a 
tour through a place of business advertised 
as open for public visitation. The argu- 
ment was inevitably anchored on the 
meritorious principle that the refusal was 
made in order to preserve "our" safety. 
Communicating to those in charge the fact 
that the Center student body had 
previously visited the plant without inci- 
dent-catastrophic or otherwise-had abso- 
lutely no influence whatsoever. Last sum- 
mer a university student and graduate of 
tills Center was not pennitted to take the 
fuU tour of Rockefeller Center in New 
York because of the lurking dangers to be 
found there-again on the theory of her 
safety. Repeatedly, in state after state, 
examples similar to those mentioned could 
be multiplied The rejection, the 
embarrassment, the evasive responses, all 
might be patiently endured; but what is 
particularly offensive and bitterly distaste- 
ful is the accompanying sugar coating- 
suggesting that such exclusion is not 
prejudice at all, but simply concern for 
our welfare. 

It is by exposing ourselves to the dan- 
gers and realities of life tliat we gain self- 
confidence. John Milton correctly ob- 

"/ cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered 


virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that 
never sallies out and sees her adversary, 
but slinks out of the race, where that im- 
mortal garland is to be run for, not with- 
out dust and heat. that which purifies 
us is trial ..." 

Item nine, The Impoverished, The 
Good Book admonishes one and all that it 
is better to give than to receive. Apparent- 
ly this dictum appHes to everyone (inci- 
dentally, including children) except the 
bUnd. For inexplicable reasons it is literal- 
ly impossible for a blind man to purchase 
a neighbor's or companion's lunch, a cup 
of coffee, or the like-unless, indeed, that 
friend is also without sight. Behef hi his 
own superiority prevents the sighted man 
from accepting favors from somebody 
innately inferior and of course poorer- 
thus we must conclude. 

Unfortunately, altogether too often 
the blind are found wanting in financial 
resources. However, to deduce from that 
fact the notion that the blind are some- 
how selected by providence to always bear 
the cross of poverty is to presuppose first- 
hand knowledge of providential affairs~to 
my knowledge the deity has still to 
appoint to his cabinet a secretary for 
foreign and domestic affairs. Closer to the 
mark is the earher reason: denied equahty 
of opportunity, frustrated in education, 
forbidden employment, and similar 
rejections-is it any wonder that few Wind 
have escaped the bleak house that is the 
dwelling place of poverty? We will have to 
wait a little longer untU condescension to- 
ward the blind ceases to be automatic and 
there is substituted in its place a friendly 
understanding and free exchange of ideas 
and favors in genuine brotherly generosity. 

Item ten, The Witless and Unwary. 

Down through the ages there has floated 
the tale about a certain individual who 
gave a sum of money to a group of blind 
men. As the story has been retold for 
generations, this would-be philanthropist 
gave the entire amount to one of the 
blind, instructing him to share it with the 
rest of his unfortunate brothers. In actuali- 
ty he had given nothing. The story would 
have us all believe that the members of the 
group were unable to detect the fraud. 
Receiving nothing, they immediately fell 
upon one another, delivering sharp blows, 
endeavoring to secure their riches. Today 
this tale takes a different dress but the 
style is dreadfully familiar. In modern 
attire we recognize it in the fact that in 
some states bUnd vending stand operators 
are prohibited from accepting paper 
currency exceeding in value the one dollar 
bill. We see it in denying to the blind jury 
duty on the assumption that lacking sight 
blind men and women might be deceived 
into making foolish decisions~and the list 
could go on intenninably. One is prompt- 
ed to recall that famous keynote speech of 
Governor Frank Clements: "How long, O 
Lord?" The tides of prejudice and 
ignorance are slow to recede and in their 
ebbing they leave untold devastation and 

Item eleven, Professional Objectivity. 
We now come to the end of our catalog, 
but before closing the book one more im- 
mense hurdle remains to be identified. 
Ominous, hidden and disguised as it may 
be with fancy terminology, circuitous 
logic and interminable verbiage, and thick- 
ly coated with highflown credentials, still 
we must face the issue squarely and refuse 
to retire from the lists until the light of 
day determines its worthiness. I refer to 
tlie modern day cult of scientific evalua- 


To pretend to ignore the merit of 
modern science would be utter folly. The 
miracles of modern psychology, psychia- 
try and general medicine abound every- 
where. Nevertheless, in the field of work 
for tlie bUnd these disciplines have been 
diverted from their useful purposes and 
have become the chief instioimentalities 
for reinvigorating and revitalizing out- 
moded concepts. In the new elaborate edi- 
fices springing up throughout the country 
destined to house rehabilitation centers 
for tlie bUnd, part of the paraphernalia is a 
battery of scientific equipment calculated 
to probe and resolve the mystery of bhnd- 
ness. The centers proudly display their 
antiseptic laborator>' facilities and insist 
that by employment of these tools, to- 
gether with a multiplicity of tests, they 
can determine what is best for the blind 
trainee, or client, and in some cases, 
patient. Let the record be without equiv- 
ocation; whether it be in the name of 
ignorance or superstition as it was in pre- 
historic, classical and medieval days, or 
whether it be in the name of paternalism 
and patronage as it emerged in the last 
four or five centuries, or whether it be in 
the name of scientific investigations and 
evaluations as it is today: it is wrong to 
deny the blind the right to self-deteiTnina- 
tion. To be sure, where the advances of 
science properly utilized show the way out 
of the imprisonment in which the blind 
have been confined for so long, then by all 
means incorporate these discoveries into 
the body of knowledge for the betterment 
of aU. But where scientific truths are mis- 
used or are unwholesomely applied to mis- 
lead or reinforce prejudices then they are 
to be aggressively resisted. 

Probably no other group in society is 
presupposed ipso facto to be maladjusted. 
The practice is developing that the con- 

genitally blind are to be "habiUtated" and 
the adventitiously blind "rehabilitated." 
We know full well that the difference be- 
tween the two are grossly exaggerated and 
that the problems of bhndness are com- 
mon to all. Current prevailing practices in- 
sist that eveiy blind man needs the minis- 
trations of a psychologist, a psychiatrist, 
and. indeed, a score of professionals to 
give hun contact with reality-labeled the 
multi-discipline approach. What the blind 
man needs most is the chance to earn his 
liveliliood. Once this is secured he is 
entirely capable of making his way 
through life. Let us once and for all turn 
away from the dismal past and set our feet 
firmly toward the ever ascending road of 
the future-a road that is unobstmcted by 
the pitfalls of ignorance and prejudice and 
the waystations of discrimination, second 
class citizenship and presumed personality 
disorder. In declaring the normality of the 
bhnd one cannot help but recall the 
memorable words in the Merchant of 
Venice spoken in another day and setting 
but having particularly profound signifi- 
cance to the 20th century blind: 

Have we not . . . "Iiands, organs, dimen- 
sions, senses, affections, passions? Fed 
with the same food, hurt with the same 
weapons, subject to the same diseases, 
healed by the same means, warmed and 
cooled by the same winter and sum- 
mer ... ? If you prick us, do we not 
bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? 
If you poison us. do we not die?" 

Let those who would deny our normality 
heed the warning of that eloquent proc- 

From all that has been said five 
propositions evolve: 


1) To be robbed of individuality im- 
mediately detracts from the worth of a 
person, causing annoyance and embarrass- 
ment. In its underlying effects it obliter- 
ates dignity altogetlier and dehumanizes, 
categorizing the afflicted as subhuman. 
Therefore, first and foremost the blind 
must be recognized as individuals possess- 
ing all the weaknesses and strengths which 
that implies. Among the inescapable pos- 
tulates which flow from tliis tlrst proposi- 
tion is that the blind are indeed a cross 
section of mankind mirroring their society 
in every aspect but sight. 

2) Bhndness is at once a disability 
and a handicap. The first pertains to tlie 
physical loss of visual acuity and is the 
sphere for medicine; the latter is more 
subtle and harder to ferret out and identi- 
fy. The handicap is the connotative aspect 
of blindness representing the prevailing 
social attitudes and predilections. In order 
for full emancipation to come to us public 
preconceptions about the bhnd must be 
sharply altered. It becomes imperative for 
all of us to be active in the dynamics of 
this change. The task immediately aliead is 
to substitute a new, vigorous image of the 
blind for the old weary notions. 

3) Equahty with its privileges and 
immunities and obligations still is in the 
offing for the blind. Only the promise is 
visible; the reality has thus far escaped our 
reach. Principally it is to be gained by 
opening the channels to full-fledged em- 
ployment potentialities. Nonetheless, im- 
portant as job prospects are, pubhc hostili- 
ty, ignorance and avoidance must give way 
to a truly benevolent spirit of brother- 
hood. All protestations about compensa- 
tory supernatural or inordinate powers 
tend to sever the blind from the body of 
society and therefore are rejected in toto. 

Those attributes which seek to bring about 
fair employment, social adaptation and in- 
tegration are welcome and enthusiastically 

Many a pioneer in his trek to the 
West experienced a spiritual uplift as he 
spied the red schoolhouses and the white 
churches that dotted the landscape as 
settlements grew and prospered. To the 
tired sojourner these signposts symbolized 
freedom of worship and opportunity for 
self-advancement through publicly sup- 
ported education. Freedom meant a free- 
hold, a piece of land free from government 
interference or outside authority. Free- 
dom meant mobility, geographically to be 
sure, but of even greater import for the 
future, socially~a chance to bid farewell to 
the rigid medieval caste system of Europe. 
In the New World contrary to the Old men 
could rise because work was noble and 
wholesome, not demeaning. That tnily is 
the heart of the precept of equality of op- 

Now and in generations to come the 
blind, too, will be refreshed by the 
achievements of our toil. Instead of the 
schools and churches they will find tradi- 
tions such as the one in which we are en- 
gaged here tonight. They will discover cen- 
ters seeking to inculcate an affinnative 
philosophy, forging the sinews necessary 
to succeed. They will have a network of 
state and national organizations devoted 
to the task of promoting enlightened legis- 
lation and providing a public forimi where 
tlie bhnd may be both seen and heard. 
Jobs, orientation centers, traditions and 
organizations, all signposts calculated to 
erode the present image of the blind and 
to substitute for it tlie idea of the blind as 
nonnal productive citizens. 


4) Society, too, has suffered long 
enough; it demands that a permanent 
moratorium be estabhshed against all 
prejudices and discriminations that lay 
waste to its resources. The enrichment 
possible through integration of the blind is 
not only desired but necessary. No longer 
can society afford the luxury of not utili- 
zing every member fully to resolve its busi- 
ness, for truly, "Something there is that 
does not iove a wall." 

5) The blind shall be exiled from the 
brotherhood of man no more. Let the 
word go forth that this generation of bUnd 
men and women repudiates the banish- 

ment that has for so long prevailed. This 
generation will no longer tolerate the sub- 
human state to which the bhnd have been 
relegated. We refuse for a moment longer 
to be known as the men without a coun- 
try. From this day forward we shall oc- 
cupy a pennanent stronghold among the 
dwelling places of men, a position that 
rightfully is ours botli because we have 
worked diligently and because of our 
rights as human beings with dignity and 
responsibility. The estranged shall be a 
part of the community, not apart from 
it-the exile has at long last returned to 
find his honorable home. 


Jimmy Nelson 

Much agitation was ai^oused among 
the blind of this State last year, when 
going to vote they realized for the first 
time the special session of the General 
Assembly earher that year had eliminated 
their long-standing right of having a person 
chosen by them to assist in votmg. Happi- 
ly, this privilege has now been restored to 

The Federation gave active support, 
by personal testimony and letter, to the 
request of the Virgmia Commission for the 
Visually Handicapped for funds to make 
possible the construction of tire Rehabili- 
tation Adjustment Center for the Blind in 
Richmond, which had been under consid- 
eration for some, four years and in which 
the VFB has had great interest. Much to 

the surprise of the Commission and the 
Federation, in this year of tight finances in 
the Commonwealth, virtually the entire 
budget request of some $700,000 was 
granted, and this ainount, coupled with an 
almost identical sum expected from sale of 
property near Charlottesville, will allow 
for construction of the Center and staffing 
for the first year. The Federation also sup- 
ported a Commission bill, which would 
place responsibiUty for education of 
visually impaired persons under the Com- 
mission. This was passed and signed into 

Unfortunately, there were certain 
unavoidable delays in the introduction of 
tlie Model White Cane Law, so that insuf- 
ficient time was left to iron out certain 


differences with existing law We were 
liowever informed by the patron of the 
bill that it received much sympatlietic con- 

Virginia's Lien Law, long a target of 
tlie VFB, has for all practical purposes 
been abolished in this State. Initially, in 
this session of the Legislature, when the 
bill to abolish the Lien Law was voted 
down in the House, the situation looked 
dark indeed; but swift VFB action suc- 
ceeded in gaining reconsideration and ulti- 
mate victory. There is a minor provision 

allowing for some possible collection by 
the State if it can be determined within 
one year after the recipient's death that 
actually resources for his assistance were 
indeed available during the time he was 
receiving Aid to the Blind or Old-Age 
Assistance. However, we have been told by 
the Welfare Department that tliis provision 
will rarely, if ever, be used. Abolition of 
liens took effect as of the time of the Gov- 
ernor's signature, which was April 6. 1970. 
We entertain the hope that before long 
Relatives' Responsibility may go the way 
of the Lien Law. 

:];:}: :i; ^ ^; ^; :}; 


Hazel Hill 

The eighth annual convention of the 
Progressive Blind of Missouri was held at 
tlie Aladdin Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri 
on April 3, 4 and 5. Our hospitahty room 
was enjoyed by all on Friday evening. The 
business session began on Saturday morn- 
ing. A highlight of our morning session 
was a speech by our International Federa- 
tion of the Blind President, Rienzi 
Alagiyawanna, on the progress of his work 
with the blind in Ceylon and Gemiany. He 
told of the great lack of knowledge among 
the blind in these countries concerning the 
actions of orgajiized bUnd throughout the 
world. Also emphasized by Rienzi was the 
urgent need of these people for reading 
material and financial aid. Another feature 
of the morning was a description of the 
services offered' by the Wolfner Library at 
St. Louis, Missouri by the assistant 
librarian, Mr. Walter Smith Che is the first 

totally blind person to receive a Bachelor 
of Science degree as a librarian). Still I 
would have to say, in all fairness, that the 
innovation of the day was a panel dis- 
cussion organized and led by oin- >'oiith 
group. The theme of the discussion was 
"The Eyes of Missouri Look at the Edu- 
cational and Employment Opportunities." 
When you see tlie determination and 
enthusiasm displayed by these young 
adults, you get the feeling that the work 
for the bUnd is going to be in good hands 
in tlie up-coming generation. 

Our banquet on Saturday evening 
was the largest we have ever enjoyed. It 
was attended by some 200 people. The 
high point of the banquet and convention 
came as our National President Kenneth 
Jernigan delivered his speech, which was 
not only well received by the audience but 


also wfll covered b> the press. 

On Sunday morning we got down to 
the real nuts cmd bolts of the convention 
Voting on resolutions, election of officers 
and all other unfinished business. The fol- 
lowing officers were elected: E. E. Busby. 
President; Mrs. W. W. Beedle, Vice Presi- 
dent; Mrs. Pauline Salter, Recording Sec- 

retiu^ ; Mrs. Helen Mohler, Treasurer; Mrs. 
Hazel Hill, Corresponding Secretary; Gay- 
ford Allen, Education and Welfare Chair- 
man; Dr. Gerald Salter, Finance Chairman; 
Harry Clark, Member at Large; Roland 
Sykes, Chairman-Walter Smith, Co-Chair- 
nian. Public Relations; Michael Briggs, 
Representative "Eyes of Missouri." 


Robert E, Hampton 

[Editor's Note: The following is reprinted from Perfomiance, the publication of the Presi- 
dent's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped. Mr. Hampton is the Chairman of 
tlie U. S. Civil Service Commission.) 

The Civil Service Commission's pro- 
gram for employing tlie himdicapped in 
the Federal service has recently entered a 
new phase, This represents the latest in a 
series of significant, changes in attitude 
regarding employment of the handi- 
capped, one of the earliest of which was 
tlie breakaway from the Iiigh physical 
standards for civil service employment 
tliat prevailed prior to World War II. 

The determination to provide 
employment for disabled veterans was the 
principal force behind the change and is 
today a high priority of the Civil Service 
Commission. Since that time, the thinking 
in the Federal service has progressed to the 
point where employment of the handi- 
capped is not only accepted but positively 
promoted. The most recent phase takes us 
one step further aliead in our thinking-a 
very important and meaningful step. 

The old fears that once stood in the 
way of luring the physically handicap- 
ped-low productivity, high accident risk, 
excessive absenteeism-were laid to rest 
many years ago by the performance record 
of handicapped men and women on the 

But until about 5 years ago, the 
definition of "handicapped" in relation to 
eniployability was fairly naiTow. Many 
government employers still had doubts as 
to whether or not the deaf, the blind, the 
epileptic, the quadriplegic, the emotion- 
ally restored, and the mentally retarded 
could really measure up in competitive 

The only way to resolve such ques- 
tions is by experience. To gain that 
experience, we undertook a limited pro- 
gram to employ mentally retarded persons 
in jobs for which they were specially train- 


ed and certified by vocational rehabilita- 
tion agencies. The success of that venture, 
which now is well known, surpassed our 
highest hopes for it. Federal agencies are 
now hiring tlie mentally retarded at a rate 
of over a thousand a year, and the employ- 
ees ai'e proving themselves in more than a 
hundred different occupations. 

But the successful employment of 
the mentally retarded is only half of the 
total success of this forward step. The 
other half is the change in thinking that it 
has brought about with respect to the 
severely handicapped and persons with 
multiple handicaps. 

The process of selective placement of 
tlie mentally retarded requires close work- 
ing relationships between the vocational 
rehabilitation counselor and the agency 
personnel officer, manager, and Coordina- 
tor for Placement of the Handicapped, as 
well as the Civil Serace Commission. In 
the course of this process, jobs suitable for 
other kinds of limited capabilities have 
been observed. This, combined with the 
outstanding success of the retardates as 
employees, has led to much broader con- 

sideration of the very severely handicap- 

In the year 1968 there were 160 
appointments made under the special 
authority provided for employing the 
handicapped, whereas there had been only 
60 the previous year. The total has now 
reached over 370, Considerable ingenuity 
and flexibility have been used by employ- 
ing agencies-one of them, for instimce, 
permitting a highly quahfied quadriplegic 
to do much of his work at home. 

While we are enlarging our thinking 
regarding employability of the severely 
handicapped, and devising arrangements to 
adapt more kinds of jobs to their capabili- 
ties, those very capabilities are being 
increased by new developments in many 
kinds of prostheses. These developments 
should spur us on to consideration of still 
more of the severe handicaps that liave 
previously been thought unemployable. 

The thought we keep always before 
us in this work is that, however much we 
have done, we can do more. 

:i: ^ ^ ^ ^ :{: :}j 


The strength of the National Federa- 
tion is its organization-that one bhnd man 
may speak for 40,000. But the success of 
the organization depends on that one- 
whether he speaks well or ill. The Federa- 
tion has a histoiy of leaders of immense 
strength; it has lost one of these leaders in 
the death of Eulasee Hardenbergh. 

Blinded while attending high school 
in Birmingham, Alabama (her home from 
1917 until her death), Eulasee was trans- 
ferred to the Alabama school for the blind 
at Talladega where slie encountered at 
once the position granted her handicap by 


"Fort>'-four of us girls slept in the 
tliird floor of a buildmg which was, to say 
the least, a fire hazaid. Seven of us slept iii 
one room and 37 of us slept in another. 
There was one small bathroom for the en- 
tire 44 girls. We had no closets, no 
dressers, no privacy. These same facilities 
and conditions still exist. I am glad to say 
they are changing." (They changed in 
1957 with tlie building of a new school 
after an intensive campaign by the school 
and the y\labama Federation of the Blind, 
of which Eulasee was president.) 

Eulasce began her career in die orga- 
nized blind with her election, in 1953, to 
the office of executive secretary of the 
Alabama Federation of the Blind. She was 
elected treasurer in 1955 and president of 
the AFB the next yeai". One of her first 
acts as executive secretaiy had been to 
write to the NFB President asking his ad- 
vice in constructing a legislative program 
for Alabama, and it was in this ai'ea that 
Eulasee was first to demonstrate the 
effects other energy and persistence. 

The Kennedy-Baring bill, legislating 
the right of the blind to organize and 
requiring state agencies to consult the 
organized blind in developing programs for 
them, was introduced in 1957. Alabama 
was to play a crucial part in the effort to 
pass this bill since two of the legislators 
most important to its success (Senator Lis- 
ter Hill, chairman of the Senate Commit- 
tee on Labor and Pubhc Welfare-the com- 
mittee to pass on the bill in the Senate- 
and Representative Carl Elliott of the 
House Committee on Education and 
Labor, who chaired the subcommittee 
which held hearmgs on the bill) were Ala- 
bamans. President tenBroek urged Eulasee 
to work for the bill and she did so with 
great vigor. She wrote to Dr. tenBroek in 

November, 1957: 

"'Please forgive me for having waited 
such a long tune before writing you, but as 
you probably already know I have been 
quite busy tiying to keep in behind 'our 
boys' and that includes Congressman 
Elliott. Since John Taylor has given you 
an account of our interview with Senator 
HiU, I shall not go into that. However, 1 
will say that I returned to Birmingham 
witii confidence that we have his support. 
I ha\e written lum since returning, and 
that isn't all. I plan to write hun about 
cveiy ten days. Believe me my Alabama 
Senators and Congressmen, or most of 
them at least, will certainly knov/ who I 
am by January." 

They not only learned who Eulasee 
was; both Senators and eight of the nine 
y\labama Congressmen introduced bills 
supporting tlie Kennedy-Baring m.easure. 
When the House held hearings on the bill 
in March, 1959, Eulasee tesiified for the 

"We ai^e trying to educate the public 
to the fact that bhndness is not the 
terrible and limiting factor that most peo- 
ple tliink it to be. We are trying to help 
our own blind people to come to a new 
reaUzation of what they can accomplish 
with proper opportimity and training. We 
are trying to bring about improvements in 
our State programs for the blind. The Uves 
of the blind people in Alabama are being 
made better by the fact that we have an 
Alabama Federation of the Blind. If our 
State agencies were afraid to see us orga- 
nize independently or even at times 
criticize their actions, all programs for the 
blind would be greatly retarded. . . . When 
the agencies for the blind are willing to 
recognize the right of the bhnd to orga- 


nize, and when the bhnd and agencies 
work cooperatively togetlier and consult 
about common problems, the results are 
beneficial to all concerned, and it can be 
done. We have done it in Alabama." 

Ten years later, reporting to Presi- 
dent tenBroek on her efforts for disability 
insurance legislation, Eulasee referred to 
the earlier campaign "I want to keep you 
up with what I am doing in Alabama. I am 
writing again this week to the eight Ala- 
bama Congressmen. I guess I am still some- 
what like I was when I worked on the 
Right to Organize bill, worry our Con- 
gressmen until they do something in order 
to get rid of me. I do not like to be out- 

After the hearings Eulasee continued 
her legislative campaign in the state, work- 
ing for a reform of Alabama voting laws 
for the blind and to restore a sales tax 
exemption for blind businessmen. In 
December of that year (1959) she was 
elected president of the Binningham Chap- 
ter, AFB. In July, 1960 Eulasee Hai'den- 
bergh became the first Alabaman to sit on 
the Executive Committee of the NFB, and 
in October she was re-elected president of 
the AFB. 

a civil war in 1966, was parallel to the 
NFB civil war in that the dissenters found 
their only base of support in agencies hos- 
tile to the work of the Federation. Thus 
opposition to a person became inevitably 
an attack on federationism itself. 

As early as 1957 there were indica- 
tions that agencies had gained influence 
with one of the affiliate chapters. The 
unauthorized opposition by this chapter 
to the Kennedy-Baring bill had led finally 
to its suspension from the AFB. Eulasee 
had dealt with this earher trouble, but not 
without gaining enemies. In 1962, confi- 
dence in her was great enough to elect her 
to the office of Secretary of the NFB. 

But in 1966, the certainty that 
Eulasee would again be elected president 
of the AFB drove her opponents to 
desperate measures. In the month before 
the convention, one of the chapters 
increased its membership five times (enlist- 
ing shopworkers from a town thirty miles 
away and members of the affiliate 
suspended in 1960, as well as paper mem- 
bers) in order to create delegate votes for 
the election. When this stuffed delegation 
was seated at the convention, Eulasee and 
her supporters walked out. 

During the period of Eulasee's 
association with the AFB in the 1950's, it 
grew in numbers and intluence. beginning 
with a single chapter in Bimiingham and 
forming chapters in Montgomery, Mobile 
and Anniston. But, as in the NFB, if a 
strong leader spurred the organization to 
expansion and a new ambition, that 
leadership awakened personal ambitions 
which were first foiled by and then united 
against the strength of personality of the 
leader. The dissension in the AFB, which 
grew during the 1960's until it chmaxed in 

The next years were bleak as the 
dispute splintered the state organization 
and made enemies of long-time friends and 
colleagues. The loss of a united state orga- 
nization removed Eulasee's base for 
national office and she was not re-elected 
Secretaiy of the NFB. In the faU of 1966 
slie wrote to Dr. tenBroek: 

"I am so tired of fighting and being 
criticized. . . . Do you think it is really 
worth while going through so much? [One 
of the opposition] made this remark. 


'Eulasee is down now and we are going to 
keep her down.' They really felt quite 
victorious after I was dropped as a nation- 
al officer." And yet this was just the 
beginning of her fight. As a result of the 
actions at the 1966 convention, the Alaba- 
ma Federation of the Blind was suspended 
by the NFB in 1967. Eulasee resigned 
from the Birmingham Chapter and began a 
new state affiliatc-the Alabama Associa- 
tion of the Blind (AAB). A string of court 
suits ibllowed, on both sides. About these 
Eulasee wrote, "Some who are really with 
our group aiT so afraid of court again, so 
for that reason tlrey aie just standing by 
letting things develop. I do not want any 
more court, but I am certauily not afraid 
and going to court did not embarrass me 
for I was standing up for my convictions." 

The court's delays hardly deterred 
Eulasee. In 1967, when she had no nation- 
al office and only a shaky state base, she 
turned away from organizational politics 
to cojicentrate on the programs of the 
NFB. She plunged into the fight for disa- 
bility insurance legislation: 

"V/hen I wrote and when I continue 
writing to them, I write as an individual, 
not m the name of any organization and 
certainly not as an officer for I am none I 
do mention the National Federation of the 
Blind. I ajn going to do my best and I am 
certainly going to work with you [Dr. ten- 
Broek] and the NFB in every way I 
possibly can, just let me know what you 
want me to do." 

Even, when, in September, 1967, the 
ousted AFB instituted suit against the 
officers of the NFB for "interference" in 
Alabama affairs, Eulasee remained largely 
outside. Her own affiliate, the AAB, had 

been recognized by the NFB Convention 
in Los Angeles (1967) and her role now 
lay in reuniting the bhnd of the state into 
a force for furthering Federation pro- 
grams The recent years have seen just this. 

In 1968 Eulasee Hardenbergh was 
appointed by Alabama Governor Albert 
Brewer to the Governor's Committee on 
the Employment of the Handicapped. 

In March o't this year Eulasee was 
told she had extensive internal cancer; two 
months later she was dead. 

Eulasee Hardenbergh was associated 
with the Federation for seventeen years. 
During more than half of those years she 
was put in the position of actively battling 
for it. This common battle brought her 
into close contact and friendship with the 
officers of the NFB: particulariy two 
Southerners, Jolin Taylor and Kenneth 
Jernigan, and her faithful correspondent. 
Jacobus tcnBroek. She had in common 
with these men a fighting spirit which was 
second only to her distaste for battle. She 
had a penchant for managing which 
badgered legislators to her side and infuri- 
ated her opponents as it delighted her 
colleagues. Immediately after his resigna- 
tion from the NFB Presidency in 1961, 
Jacobus tenBroek received a letter inviting 
him to speak at the AFB convention: 

"... I will not be satisfied with any- 
one except you. ... I already have 
reserved a suite for you, I would really 
hate to transfer this to someone else, in 
fact I don't know that I would, so you just 
better be here. . . , 

I am hke Burlie* now, I am sick and tired 
of all this foohshness. Montgomery is back 

''Burlie Dutton, Mrs. Hardenbergh's close friend and coheague. 


of me in every way. I could keep on and 
on, but it will end with the same old story. 
Just let me hear from you as soon as 
possible and write that you will be with 
us. Honestly, Dr. tenBroek, when you 
resigned, it was such a shock to me, I was 
just sick and felt as though the NFB had 
fallen completely apart. I was ready to 
quit and never turn my hands or thoughts 
again toward the Federation or any orga- 
nization of the Blind, but after pulling 
myself together I reahzed if the NFB need- 
ed support ever, now is the time." 

To which Dr. tenBroek replied: 

"May I also say to you that your stal- 
wart support over the years always gave 
me a great deal of strength. As a matter of 
fact, there are a lot of wonderful people in 
the Federation with the types of minds 
and personalities which make it possible 
for them to unite firmly together and to 
advance the cause. I shall always think of 
you as one of this select group." 


Nellie Hargrove 

The first annual convention of The 
National Federation of the Blind of Ten- 
nessee was held May 1-3, at the Andrew 
Jackson Hotel in Nashville. Friday after- 
noon and evening, conventioners spent 
their time in committee meetings, social 
gatherings, and other significant functions. 
The Board of Directors met at 9 o'clock 
on Friday evening. Along with other 
important business, the boai'd adopted 
two resolutions; one establishing a scholar- 
ship award for NFBT, and another estab- 
lishing a "Federationist of tlie Year" 
award . 

The Saturday morning business 
session was called to order at 9:30 by 
State President, Nellie Hargrove, After an 
invocation by the Reverend A. W. Dowell, 
who is also chaplain for the Middle Ten- 
nessee Chapter of NFBT, conventioners 
were welcomed to the city by a repre- 

sentative of the Mayor's office and by 
hosting chapter president, J. Marshall 
Warren. Since Nashville is known as 
"Music City U.S.A.", Tex Ritter, well 
known country and western music star, 
gave a rousing welcome from the music 

A beautiful mahogany gavel, 
engraved in gold lettering NFB of TEN- 
NESSEE, May 2, 1970, was presented to 
the State President by C Gorden 
Stephens, President of The Memphis 
Federation of the Blind. The President 
made good use of the gavel tliroughout the 
convention. Nobody napped and very few 
talked without recognition from the chair. 

At noon, a luncheon featuring Clay 
Coble, superintendent of the Tennessee 
School for the Blind, as guest speaker was 
attended by one hundred and one persons. 


Mr. Coble gave an informative address 
about the School for the Bliiid and about 
Ills general views of blindness.^ 

In the afternoon session, John Taylor 
aroused new interest in the national orga- 
nization by giving a lengthy and most 
interesting talk about what the NFB was 
doing nation-wide. 

Election was next on the agenda, ;md 
it should be noted here that this one was 
probably among the sliortest ever held In 
any state or chapter affiliate. Every name 
submitted as a nominee by the chairman 
of the nominating committee was elected 
by acclamation. The entire election was 
over in ten minutes. New officers are: 
Nellie Hargrove, President; Lev WiHiams, 
1st Vice-president; J. Marshall Warren, 2nd 
Vice-president; Mrs. Lillie Christmas, Sec- 
retary; Miss Willette Marshall, Treasurer; 
Miss Gertie Wisdom, Tlieadore Walker and 
Elbert Haynes, Board Members. Mrs. Hai- 
grove will be the delegate to the NFB con- 
vention and Mr. Williams will be the alter- 
nate delegate. Delegate to tlie NFB Stu- 
dent Division will be Sainmy Stevens. 

After the election, fundraising was 
discussed, and an informative talk was 
made by representatives from the com- 
pany which handles the state ^ fundraising 
drive. This was followed by a panel from 
the A. P. Mills Workshop for the Blmd in 
Memphis. Lev Williams and Henderson 
Dennis participated. 

Highlight of the convention was tlie 
banquet, held Saturday evening in the 
Commodore Room of the hotel. John 
Taylor, featured spealver, gave an out- 
standing presentation. Mrs. Ethel Luten, 
assistant director of Tennessee's Library 

for the Blind, was also a speaker at the 
banquet. The "Federationist of the Year" 
award was presented to Nellie Hargrove by 
Lev Williams. In his presentation, Mr. 
Williams stated that if Mrs. Hargrove ever 
joined tlie new "Feminist Movement" all 
tlie men would surely leave the state. 
Nellie was happy to inform him that if 
that were the case she certainly had no 
intentions of joining the movement. After 
the banquet, there was dancing m the 
Andrew Jackson Room, featuring music 
by Ted Walker and his band. 

The Sunday session was devoted to 
legislation, with Mr. Taylor participating 
fully in the discussions. The body unani- 
mously adopted motions to take the 
Model White Cane Law to the 1971 
General Assembly and to present the Ten- 
nessee Commission for the Blind legis- 
lation to the 1971 Assembly also. Resolu- 
tions were adopted supporting the Disa- 
bility Insurance Act and the NFB resolu- 
tion on the '*Blue Card legislation." 

Door prizes were drawn throughout 
the convention. The grand prize, a radio- 
featuring AM-FM and operating by battery 
or electricity-was won by Lilhe Christmas, 
who immediately donated it to the state 
organization as a prize to be sent to the 
NFB convention. The last prize drawn was 
a large coffee-maker and was won by 
Nellie Hargrove. She followed Lilhe's good 
example and donated the- coffee-maker to 
NFBT to be sent as a door prize to the 
NFB convention. 

Tennessee's first convention was a 
smashing success! One hundred and forty 
persons attended the banquet and there 
was great interest and enthusiasm through- 
out the convention. 



Carolyn Connors 

[Reprinted from the Riverside Press (California).] 

The final bell has signaled the end of 
classes for the day, but a group of seventh 
graders have gathered in Miss Esther Sala- 
ta's room at La Sien-a Higli School. Some 
have come to take a makeup history test. 
Some are busy changing displays on the 
bulletin board. Others oi-e waiting to walk 
the teacher home. It's a typical classroom 
full of vibrant youngsters and an energetic 
24-year-old teacher. There are the usual 
problems. Someone doesn't have a pencil, 
a boy is flying paper airplanes in the back 
of the room, a girl asks for construction 
paper for the bulletin board display. In 
just a few minutes Miss Salata has 
managed to calm the chaos, answer all the 
questions, and make sure the students 
have everything they need. 

Only when the room has quieted 
down does one notice Scotty-the brown 
German shepherd sitting quietly at the 
teacher's side. Scotty is a seeing-eye dog, a 
constaiit companion to the teacher who 
has been bUnd since birth. He's the only 
indication that this classroom and this 
teacher are unique. 

The students don't consider their 
teacher to be handicapped, and Miss Salata 
gives httle attention to the subject. "Sure, 
they tried to get away with all kinds of 
stunts at first. But then they begin to 

realize that what I can't see I can hear or 
sense in other ways, and they start shaping 
up in a hurry." 

She doesn't ask for or receive special 
consideration in most areas. In addition to 
teaching six English-history courses a day 
to a total of 75 seventh-graders, she also is 
founder and adviser of the school's Space 
Club. The Space Club holds a special place 
in her heart because she dreams of "some- 
day getting a master's degree in aerospace 
and helping to develop life support sys- 
tems for the astronauts." She is working 
towards a master of science in history dur- 
ing summer vacations. 

She graduated from Chico State 
College in June and came to Riverside tliis 
sunmier from her native Chico because 
"there was an opening for a blind teacher 
in this city." 

When her busy class day is finished, 
she walks to her comfortable two- 
bedroom apartment which "is like any 
other bachelor girl apartment except that 
one bedroom is full of Braille books." 
When slie's not correcting papers, planning 
lessons or making up tests, she'll put some 
Glen Campbell records on the stereo, work 
on her knitting or Usten to her favorite 
radio program-a football or baseball game. 




Jim Omvig 

In the past several months President 
Jernigan has had numerous inquiries by 
blind persons around the country regard- 
ing credit unions. Do some Federation 
affiliates have credit unions? Are they suc- 
cessful? How many arc there? Do you 
have to be experts in order to run them 
successfully? How can a state affiliate 
form a credit union? 

Since I am an attorney and have had 
some experience with credit unions, Presi- 
dent Jernigan asked me to compile such 
information as is available and to furnish 
tliis information to anyone who requests 

Following is the pertinent portion of 
a letter which I wrote to one of our 
chapter presidents who requested Lnfor- 
nuition as to how her chapter would go 
about forming a credit union. 

Let me begm by commenting briefly 
upon the basic nature of a credit union. 
Stated vevj' simply: it is a cooperative 
bank. Members of your Federation who 
have money to invest can do so with a fair 
return on their investments, and this 
money is then available to members who 
wish to borrow at reasonable rates. The 
advantage to both parties is that there is 
no commercial establishment involved to 
claim its sliare of the profits. 

Perhaps the most basic requirement 
of all in the formation of a credit union is 
tliat the organization which contemplates 
establishing one must exist for some pur- 
pose other tlian the establishment of a 

credit union. You certainly meet this 

If you wish to seriously consider the 
formation of a credit union I would 
suggest that your first step should be to 
contact your state Credit Union League. 
Someone from this League would be 
willing to spea]< free of charge at one of 
your meetings. He could explain the com- 
plete operation of a credit union, how to 
establish one under the laws of your state, 
and he would also be in a position to pur- 
sue with you the feasibihty of establishing 
a credit union in a group of your particu- 
lar size. In addition, if, after an examina- 
tion of all the facts and circumstances, 
you were to decide to establish a credit 
union, your state Credit Union League 
would assist you in setting up all of your 
books and records and would have all the 
books, forms, and other materials available 
for your purchase. 

Your letter did not indicate the size 
of your particular group but a word might 
be said on this subject, generally. 
Although there is no minimum number 
required by law for the formation of a 
credit union, I suspect (and I think the 
League's representative would support me 
on this point) that it would not be practi- 
cal for a really small group to organize a 
credit union. I believe that there would 
have to be a potential of 100 to 150 mem 
bers before it could be really effective and 
profitable for all concerned. The reason 
for this is that there simply must be 
enough members depositing substantial 
amounts of money so that meaningful 


(substantial) loans could be made to those 
who wish to borrow. The credit union 
laws state that a loan may be made up to 
$100 or 10% of the assets of the credit 
union, whichever is greater. In other 
words, if you sold S5 shares in a total 
amount of less than $1,000 the most you 
could loan to any one person would be 
$100. I think you would agree with me 
that most persons who wish to borrow 
money intend to borrow more than that 
amount. On the other hand, as deposits 
grow the amount which may be loaned 
out to any one individual also grows. For 
example, if you have deposits of $10,000 
you can loan an individual as much as 
$1,000. Or, if your deposits amount to 
$30,000, you could lend an individual up 
to $3,000. Then you would be in a posi- 
tion to make meaningful loans for furni- 
ture, appliances, and cars, etc. In our Iowa 
credit union we now have deposits of 
around $60,000. 

At the present time (so far as I know) 
there would appear to be three successful 
credit unions run by affiliates of the NFB 
around the country. These are organized 
on a statewide basis, rather than at the 
local chapter level, and are found in Cali- 
fornia, Minnesota, and Iowa. 

In the event you should decide to 
form a credit union, the first thing you 
need to do is to get signatures from several 
of your Federation members (ten under 
Iowa law) and apply to your state licen- 
sing agency in charge of credit unions for a 
charter. Our licensing agency in Iowa is 
the State Banking Commission. Your 
Credit Union League will give you infor- 
mation as to whom to apply in your state. 

After you have secured your charter, 
an organizational meeting must be held. 

Any member of your Federation will be 
eligible to vote. At this meeting you must 
adopt by-laws and elect the agreed upon 
number of members for your Board of 
Directors. We have nine in Iowa. Then the 
members of the Board themselves elect, 
from their own membership, a President, a 
Vice-President, a Treasurer-he is in charge 
of the books, records and finances~a Sec- 
retary, a Credit Committee, and an Audi- 
ting Committee. Such other committees as 
Membership and Publicity might also be 

As soon as your charter has been 
obtained and you have elected a Board, 
you are ready to begin selling shares. 
Beginning with the first dollar you take in, 
the Treasurer must keep accurate books 
and records. Your State Credit Union 
League will assist him in setting up the 
books. In Iowa we began with no paid 
staff but as the operation has become large 
and successful, we found it desirable to 
hire a bookkeeper. 

So far as membership in the credit 
union is concerned, a member of your 
association does not automatically become 
a member of the credit union when one is 
formed. Individuals must apply for mem- 
bership and receive approval by the mem- 
bership committee or officer. In order to 
join the credit union, a person must pur- 
chase at least one $5 share and pay a 
25-cent semce fee. This service fee is paid 
upon joining the credit union. There is no 
fee as additional shares are purchased. 

Who is eligible for membership? 
There is some flexibility here. In Iowa, for 
instance, those who are eligible are: mem- 
bers in good standing of the Iowa Associ- 
ation of the Blind; their spouses; their 
dependent children; parents of members 


who live in the same household with the 
member; and the lAB itself, or its orga- 
nizational affiliates. This latter category 
has been of substantial benefit to us since 
our state organization and some of our 
local chapters had a good deal of money 
to invest-money which was tJien available 
for loan to other members. 

As soon as money is available, it may 
be loaned out. The interest charged may 
not exceed 1% per month on the unpaid 

I believe that it would not be useful 
at this time to fully detail the operation 
after a credit union has commenced busi- 
ness. To give you a rough idea, applica- 
tions for loans are passed upon by the 
Credit committee or loan officer. The 
Trca.surer must keep accurate records 
which must be available for examination 
by your state licensing agency. The 
Treasurer must also make monthly reports 
to the Board of Directors and a yearly 
report at the credit union's annual mem- 
bership meeting. Every three months the 
Auditing committee must make an inde- 
pendent examination of the books and 

You must remember, of course, that 
you are running a business and are using 
the funds of your members to do it. 
Therefore, loans should be based upon 
sound business judgment. 

There are many advantages to having 
youi own credit union and only a few 
disadvantages. In the first place, it is an 
opportunity for those of us who are fight- 
ing to overcome a common problem to 
help one another. In addition in the past it 
has sometimes been impossible because of 
widespread discrimination for a bhnd per- 

son to obtain a needed loan. Here he could 
borrow money without threat of discrimi- 

Also the loan which could be made 
will Ukely be at a lesser rate of interest 
than could be secured through a bank and 
will certainly be more advantageous than 
any installment loan through a retailer. In 
this connection some people borrow 
money from a credit union to consolidate 
previously accumulated debts upon which 
a high rate of interest is being paid. 

Discrimination in the purchase of life 
insurance has historically been a thorn in 
the side of the blind. There is automatic 
life insurance on each share account in a 
credit union up to a maximum of $2,000. 
There are some specific differences depen- 
ding upon the age of a person when he had 
purchased his shares, but generally speak- 
ing, a person would have 100% insurance 
coverage on his shares up to $2,000. To 
illustrate, if a person had $2,000 in his 
account and if he were to die, his estate 
would receive that $2,000 plus an addi- 
tional $2,000 in insurance money. Recent- 
ly, too, a double indemnity provision has 
become available. Under this provision, if 
a person were to die by accident, rather 
than by natural causes, and if he had 
$2,000 worth of shares at the time of his 
death, his estate would receive $3,000 in 
insurance money. 

In addition, the death of each 
borrower is insured (at no additional cost 
to him) so tliat if he were to die his loan 
would be paid off at no expense to his 

There is only one real disadvantage, 
and it is certainly not insurmountable. It is 
found in the very nature of our organiza- 


tions. That is, our members are often 
spread throughout a wide area. To give 
you the other side of the coin, if employ- 
ees of a large company were to form a 
credit union they would likely have their 
credit union office at the same location. 
Applications could be filled out on the 
spot, and there would be someone avail- 
able to provide assistance. Board members 
are on the spot for meetings, and the 
Credit committee is readily available to 
pass upon loan applications. 

We have to do much of diis work by 
traveling to meetings, through correspond- 
ence, and by telephone, but as I have said, 
it can work and it has certainly been 
demonstrated that blind people are as 

capable as anyone else of running a credit 
union both efficiently and profitably. 

Our Iowa credit union has been in 
existence some three years. We now have 
deposits of approximately $60,000 and 
are paying interest at the rate of 5V2% 
compounded on a quarterly basis. 

If you have further questions, please 
do not hesitate to contact me. 

Very truly yours, 

James Omvig 




Marion McDonald 

On April 24, 1970 convention-goers 
from Harrisonburg, Hampton, Alexandria, 
Arlington, Annandale, Winchester, 
Charlottesville and other points of the Old 
Dominion, headed for Richmond~the 
capital of the state where our organization 
had its beginning in 1957. About a hun- 
dred members and friends were in attend- 
ance at the William Byrd Motor Hotel dur- 
ing the weekend. 

Mr. Perry Sundquist of California, 
editor of The Braille Monitor and member 
of the NFB Executive Committee, 
represented the National Federation. His 
talk Saturday morning on "Virginia's 
Services for its Blind Citizens" caused our 

four resolutions pertaining to aid to the 
Blind to be passed unanimously. These 
resolutions ask for (1) $125.00 to be 
established as the Virginia minimum AB 
payment, with the statutory requirement 
that special needs of recipients be met 
fully; (2) all resources allowed or required 
to be exempt by federal law or federal 
regulation be exempt as available resource 
in determining the amount of the grant of 
a recipient of Aid to the Blind in Virginia; 
(3) a bill providing for acceleration of AB 
payments in accordance with the national 
cost of living index; and (4) repeal of 
relatives' responsibility in Virginia's Aid to 
Needy Bhnd program. 


Our State Legislative program was 
ably guided to a successful close with 
Jimmy Nelson of Richmond as Chairman. 
Our fight that began in 1960 was rewarded 
wlien H.B. 501 was passed, eliminating the 
hen provision from the Aid to the Blind 
program Our committee worked closely 
with the Virginia Commission for the 
Visually Handicapped and appeared before 
the Finance Committee to urge funds for 
the construction of a Rehabilitation 
Adjustment Center. This bill was passed, 
and we hope constixiction will begin soon. 
Other bills passed were: an amendment to 
the voting law which makes it possible for 
a blind person to have an individual of his 
choice assist in the marking of an election 
ballot; a new act that provides that archi- 
tectural barriers be eliminated in public 
buildings; a bill which would enable vend- 
ing stand operators under supervision of 
the Virginia Commission for the Visually 
Handicapped to pay only the amount of 
sales tax collected and collectable; and 
other bills on the vending stand program, 
education of bhnd children and the AB 

"Employment Opportunities for the 
Blind," a panel program moderated by 
John Nagle, Chief of the Washington 
office of the NFB, was again wjll received. 
A stenographer, pianist and entertainer, 
prosecuting attorney, and transformer 
mechanic were the p;melists. Jimmy Nel- 
son led the convention in an active period 
of "What's on Your Mind?" The chapter 
reports were impressive and encouraging. 
Other interesting program items were: 
"Recent Advances in Sight-substitute 
Systems" by Dr. Keith McNeer, ophthal- 
mologist; "Libraiy Services for the Blind" 
by Vernon Marvel, Librarian, State 
Library for the Blind, and "The Visually 
Impaired Child in the PubHc Schools" by 

Mrs. Christine Henns, Education Services, 

Mrs. Dorothea Foulkrod, President of 
the Virginia Federation of the Blind, 
presented a chai'ter of affiliation to Mrs. 
Inez Wine, President of the Blue Ridge 
Federation of the Blind (Charlottesville) at 
the banquet Saturday evening. Mr. Perry 
Sundquist gave the banquet address with 
information of interest about the National 
Federation of the Blind movement. During 
hospitality and after the banquet our own 
members entertained, showing a variety of 
talent. Door prizes were numerous and 

An interdenominational worship 
service was scheduled for Sunday morning, 
and it was so well attended that it will 
likely become a permanent item on our 

Mrs. Ruth Drummond of Alexandria 
was appointed editor of die VFB Newslet- 
ter, assisted by Mrs. Marion McDonald. 
The convention voted to pubUsh the 
Newsletter bi-monthly, and to begin put- 
ting it on cassettes for those who have dif- 
ficulty reading their Newsletter 

Officers elected for the next two 
years are: President, Robert McDonald, 
Alexandria; 1st Vice-President, Mrs. Nancy 
Hoover, Harrisonburg; 2nd Vice-President, 
Mrs. Dorothea Foulkrod; Recording Sec- 
retary, Mrs. Marion McDonald; Corre- 
sponding Secretary, Miss Lydia Stuples, 
Richmond; Treasurer, James Copeland, 
Annandale; two-year Board Member, Billy 
Wine, Charlottesville; one-year Board 
Member, Mrs. Amy Barnes, Winchester. 

Robert McDonald was elected dele- 
gate to the NFB convention, and Mrs. 


Nancy Hoover is alternate. 

The 1971 convention will be held in 

Harrisonburg, and the 1972 convention 
will be hosted by our newest affiliate in 


Rosamond M. Critchley 

Over the years, the happy relation- 
ship between the Associated Blind of 
Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Com- 
mission for the Blind lias remained a shin- 
ing example of how a state agency and the 
organized bhnd can work together. Here's 
the latest episode in the story: 

Last fall at tlie semi-annual Uaison 
meeting between members of the Commis- 
sion and of the A.B.M., it was mentioned 
that the Commission had been conducting 
all-day seminars for staff members, volun- 
teer groups, etc., to give an overall picture 
of what the agency is and does, and exact- 
ly what services it offers. The thought was 
expressed that blind people, who benefit 
from these services, might also be interest- 
ed in attending such a seminar. John F. 
Mungovan, the Commissioner, was recep- 
tive to this idea and explained how it 
could be worked out. By making an 
appointment, any group of six or more 
could come to the Commission's head- 
quarters in Boston and spend six hours, 
with a break for lunch, learning exactly 
how the Commission "ticks". However, by 
the time this information reached the 
chapters, the holiday season was upon us, 
and then winter set in, so nothing was 
done for several months. 

First to take advantage of this new 

opportunity was the Worcester Chapter, 
which set up an appointment for Wednes- 
day, Apiil 22nd. Through an arrangement 
with the local Parks and Recreation Com- 
mission, free bus transportation was 
arranged, and all blind people in the area, 
including nonmembers, were mvited. A 
total of twenty-two made the trip. 

In charge of the day's program was 
Lester W. Stott, Supemsor of Volunteers. 
In the course of the day, in addition to 
Mr. Stott and Mr. Mungovan, the group 
heard from the heads of the vaiuous 
depaiiments, and received firsthand, up- 
to-date information concerning such 
services as aid to the blind, sendee to pre- 
school blind children, education, rehabili- 
tation, home teaching, social service, and a 
new volunteer sei-vice wliich is now only in 
the first stages of development. An 
interesting sideliglit was a talk by Philip 
Davis, an engineer who acts as the Com- 
mission's technical consultant, and who 
explained some of the new devices on 
which he is working. Some of those 
present had a chance to try their hands at 
an electric typewriter which had been con- 
nected to an I.B.M. Braille writer, enabhng 
a typist with no knowledge of Braille to 
type a sheet and simultaneously produce 
an identical copy in Braille. By this means, 
bhnd persons who have difficulty in get- 


ting print material read may now receive 
communications in Braille from the Com- 
mission. It will be uncontracted, and with- 
out capital signs, number signs, etc., but at 
least it can be read by touch. 

All through the program, members of 
the audience fired questions at the speak- 
ers, and the give-and-take was lively and 


Members of the Commission and 
those attending felt that the session was 
most productive, and it is hoped by all 
concerned that other groups of blind resi- 
dents of Massachusetts will find it possible 
to take advantage of this imusual oppor- 



Susan Knight 

[Editor's Note: The following correspondence is between Susan Knight of Illinois and 
President Jemigan] 

Dear Mr. Jemigan, 

Several times in the last few months I 
have heard an appeal broadcast over Radio 
Station WBBM, Chicago, by the Interna- 
tional Eye Foundation. The attitudes to- 
ward blindness expressed, thougli implicit- 
ly, in this appeal are contrary to those 
attitudes the Federation is trying to foster. 
The appeal begins with a remark to this 
effect: "Eye sight is one of our most 
precious possessions, and one of tlie most 
tragic to lose." The announcer goes on to 
speak of the "suffering blind millions". 
The work of the International Eye Foun- 
dation is then briefly described, and tlus 
closing appeal to pubhc pity is made: 
"Your tax-deductible donation will help 
restore some of the world's fifteen million 
blind to a useful place in society." The 
attitudes implied are clear. Those who lose 
tlieir sight aie afflicted by such a grievous 
tragedy that they suffer for life. Only by 
providing money for research and medical 

assistance, and only by donating eye tissue 
can we possibly hope to relieve the blind 
person's plight, since his handicap is so 
serious that he can't function in society. 
We don't believe this! This appeal goes out 
over one of the major stations in the 
nationwide CBS radio network, where 
millions hear it. 

During the month of February I 
wrote a similar letter protesting this adver- 
tisement to the editor of The Monitor. I 
suggested that the Federation take a stand 
against such advertising and lodge a formal 
protest with the International Eye Foun- 
dation. Since I wrote that letter, the 
Women's Division of the Ilhnois Congress 
of the Blind collectively voiced the mem- 
bei-s' disapproval of this appeal. I am writ- 
ing this to you in hopes that the Federa- 
tion can do something. 

Do you suggest we contact the Inter- 
national Federation of the Blind? Would it 


be better for an individual like myself, or a 
state affiliate to contact this international 
body, or for the National Federation of 
the Blind to do so, thus expressijig the 
feelings of the organized blind in the 
United States? Please send me the address 
of the person to whom I should write if 
there is value in my writing on behalf of 
my state affiliate. Can you suggest any 

other courses of action? I feel that this 
type of charity appeal, frought with its 
many implications, should be of concern 
to eveiy blind person, and that we should 
take a stand against those organizations 
that undennine our efforts at public edu- 
cation and other activities to improve the 
quality of life for every blind person. 


For the purposes of the Pennsylvania 
Federation of the Blind, the State is divid- 
ed into four regions-Northeast, Southeast, 
Central, and Western. Each region is made 
up of chapters of the P.F.B. in that locali- 
ty. The first of four regional seminars was 
held in April for the Northeastern Region. 
The second, third, and fourth were held in 
May, Jim Omvig, rehabilitation specialist 
with the Iowa Commission for the Blind, 
represented the NFB at the first two ses- 
sions. John Nagle, Chief of the NFB's 
Washington Office, represented the nation- 
al organization at the last two. Both Jim 
and John gave excellent talks on Federa- 
tionisra. This was the first time in many 
years that representatives of the NFB have 
attended functions of the Pennsylvania 
Federation of the Blind. 

^ ^ ^ ^ ^ 

For eleven years now the American 
Telephone & Telegraph Company has 
issued its annual report in Braille and on 
recordings, for the benefit of its blind 
stockholders. Of the more than 3 million 
AT&T shareowners, many thousands now 

receive the Braille and recorded versions of 
the Company's annual report. 

* :!= * =1= * * 

The Montana Association for the 
Blind recently approved an application for 
a charter for its ninth official chapter. The 
new affiliate is the Capital City Chapter of 
Helena. This group has been organized as a 
social club for several years but has only 
now become an official chapter of the 
MAB. The charter will be presented at the 
banquet during the 25th anniversary con- 
vention of the MAB in July. 

:]::?: :]t :{; ^; ^ 

A recent edition of the Federal Regis- 
ter contains a proposed regulation entitled 
Special Services for the Blind and provides 
that special services for the blind (receiv- 
ing public assistance) may include training 
in mobiUty, personal care, home manage- 
ment, and communication skills; arranging 
for talking book macliines, and arranging 
for provision of special aids and appliances 
and safety features, particularly those 

necessaiy to assure safe housing and pre- 
vention of accidents. By- July 1, 1973, 
state plans must pi-ovide for special 
sen'ices for the blind. 

Clarence E. Colhns, President of the 
Tar Heel State Federation of the Blind 
G^forth Carohna), in a recent progress 
report stated that when they organized in 
August of last year, there were persons 
who predicted that the organization would 
last two or three months at most and then 
would fade away. After eight months of 
operation, the organization is stronger 
than ever and growing even,- month.. In 
Apiil, ten of the members went to Greens- 
boro and helped organize the Gate City 
Federation of the Blind. There are plans to 
organize another chapter m Winston- 
Salem. Plans are going forward for the 
State Convention to be held in Charlotte 
in September. 

:}: :j: ^ ^ :$: :ic 

The U. S. Department of Labor's 
Wage-Hoar Division reports that during 
t!ie last half of 1969, investigations dis- 
closed that almost double the clients was 
found underpaid, and a tripling of imder- 
payments as compared with the same 
period in 1968. Some 2,000 workshop 
clients were found underpaid S336.000. 
Sheltered workshop certificates are issued 
to permit payment of minimum wage rates 
below those set by the Fair Labor Stan- 
dards Act to handicapped workers who are 
unable to earn the ininimum wage due to 
physical or mental disabilities. There are 
presently 1,329 sheltered workshops in 
the country holding certificates from the 
Wage and Hour Division. Approximately 
65,000 handicapped workers were 

employed in tliese sliops. The Labor 
Department feels that its findings clearly 
reveal the continuing need for vigilance in 
order to assure that workshop clients 
receive proper wages and to prevent work- 
shops from competing unfairly with regu- 
lar industry. 

The L.A-.B. Bullcrin, publication of 
the Iowa Association of the Blind, reports 
the fonnation of its newest local chapter, 
the Northwest Iowa Association of the 

The Bwafwano Blind Music Club in 
Ndola, Zambia, Africa, lias asked for 
musical instruments including guitars, ban- 
jos, bass guitars and drums. The group 
would also be interested in hearing from 
other music clubs. For additional infor- 
mation, write to: G. K. Chansa, Secretary', 
Bwafwano Blind Music Club. P. O. Box 
1843, Ndola. Zambia, Africa. 

The Kansas Association for the Blind, 
in its last Convention in Topeka, instruc- 
ted the Prevention of Bhndness Commit- 
tee to study various aspects of blindness, 
particulaily hereditary blindness. The 
Committee sent letters to ophthalmolo- 
gists and optometrists in Kansas, suggest- 
mg that they alert their patients in regard 
to tlie implications of hereditary bhndness 
and what tliis would mean to their off- 
spring. The response from the doctors was 
most gratifying. 


The President of tlie International 
Federation of the Blind, Rienzi Alagiya- 
wanna, recently visited the State Capitol 
in Sacramento, California, where he was 
invited to address the Assembly of the 
State Legislature. Rienzi then journeyed 
on down to Stockton to attend the Spring 
Convention of the California Council of 
the Blind. He was made an honorary mem- 
ber of the Council in recognition of his 
service in behalf of the blind of all nations. 

Governor Robert E, McNair of South 
Carohna recently signed into law a bill 
which authorizes the Board of Directors of 
the Association of the Blind of South Car- 
olina to convey to the South Carolina 
Commission for the Blind real estate 
leased to the Association by the State. 
Thus another significant milestone in 
legislation for the blind has been achieved 
in South Carolina. 

Fuji Seisakusho Ltd. of Tokushima, 
Japan has brought out its Watani electric 
Braille typewriter. One can type both 
Braille and roman letters simultaneously. 
Thus a sighted person can send letters in 
Braille to the blind even if he does not 
know bow to write letters in Braille. 
Similarly, he can send letters in roman to 
his sighted friends. 

Floyd D; Mohler of Kansas City, Mis- 
souri died recently. He is survived by his 
wife, Helen, who is the newly-elected 
Treasurer of the Progressive Blind of Mis- 
souri. Floyd was born in Kansas City and 
received his schooling there He worked in 

the area, lost his sight about twenty-five 
years ago through a gunshot accident, and 
was active in the work of the organized 
blind movement. He and Helen were char- 
ter members of the Progressive Blind of 


Elmer Chapson, a member of the Ala- 
meda County (California) Club of Adult 
Blind, recently visited an Orientation Cen- 
ter for the Blind in southern Sweden. This 
was but one of Sweden's five orientation 
centers, which is a goodly number since 
the entire country has a total population 
of only seven milhon. This particular cen- 
ter is designed to meet the needs of recent- 
ly blinded women and had 40 pupils. The 
average stay is nine months. It has a very 
complete homemaking department, and 
the students are encouraged to live in their 
own apartments and do their own cooking 
and managing. The courses offered are 
sunilar to those given at orientation cen- 
ters in tliis country. The number one cause 
of bhndness among young people in Swe- 
den is diabetes. 

Forty bhnd farmers, trained at a rural 
center in Malaysia, have been resettled in 
various parts of the country. In another 
center in that distant land, about 70 blind 
persons, both men and women, have been 
trained in farming and resettled. The train- 
ing centers point out that it is not enough 
to just give these bhnd farmers land, tools, 
seed and chickens, but a careful follow-up 
must be had to assist m overcoming prob- 
lems which may crop up. 

:{::{: :{c :]: :]i :}; 


The Oliio Council of the Blind held 
its 1970 seminar in Columbus. The late Al 
Smith, recently-deceased President of the 
Council, asked for rededication to the 
blind movement. The NFB representative 
was John Taylor, Deputy Director of the 
Iowa Commission for the Blind, who 
urged the creation of a separate Commis- 
sion for tlie Blind in Ohio rather than hav- 
ing services for the blind scrambled with 
those for other handicapped groups. 

tlie Blind, has been issued. It is designed to 
enable the bhnd of Utali to keep more 
closely in touch with each other's activi- 
ties. The Beehive Bulletin in its first issue 
deals in detail with the liighly successful 
seminar held in Salt Lake City on the sub- 
ject of employment of the blind. TJie 
Braille Monitor salutes the Utali State 
Association for its initiative in beginning 
publication of its own magazine. 

:(: ;js :^ :(; :i: :J: 

Governor Ronald Reagan of Califor- 
nia has had introduced into the Legislature 
a bni which would effect cutbacks in wel- 
fare. The bill has raised a storm of protests 
from all over the State and it seems prob- 
ably at this writing that the measure will 
be defeated in its present form. 

The U, S. Supreme Court mled by a 
6 to 2 vote that States may not reduce 
welfare payments automatically on the 
presumption that a needy family is receiv- 
ing some income from an unrelated "man 
in the house." This was the last in a series 
of welfare cases in this term of the Court- 
a term in which the Court has declared 
that recipients are entitled to a hearing be- 
fore losing thek benefits and are entitled 
to a realistic cost-of-living adjustment 
under federal law. The Court also held 
that States may limit the amount of bene- 
fits a family may receive even if it reduces 
the amount alloted to a child in a large 
fainily . 

The President of the Indian Federa- 
tion of the Blind advises us that physically 
handicapped persons, including the bUnd, 
wOl hereafter be included in the priority 
list for employment in State Government 
jobs. They have already been accorded 
priority for consideration against vacancies 
in the Central Government Offices of 
India. Thus comes to fruition one of the 
long and difficult drives of the Indian 
Federation of the Blind. 

A new concept of laser-light treat- 
ment is being used at Stanford University 
(Palo Alto, California) to treat patients 
who face blindness because of eye disease. 
Some eleven different eye diseases have 
been treated in tliis manner, including dis- 
eases of the retina, especially those occur- 
ring in diabetes; Hales' disease, in which 
eye blood vessels grow abnormally and 
bleed easily; and several congenital condi- 
tions. Investigation to assess the advan- 
tages and results of the new technique is 

:i: ;{; J}: :}: :^ :(: 

■^ ^ 'Jli ■^ 'J(i :fr. 

The first issue of Beehive Bulletin, 
the Voice of the Utah State Association of 

Througli the close cooperation of the 
National Federation of the Blind, the 


Selective Placement Division of tlic Civil 
Service Commission, and the Division for 
the Blind and Physically Handicapped of 
the Library of Congress, the Federal 
Service Entrance Examination will soon be 
available on tape cassettes. The examina- 
tion material will occupy both tracks of a 
C90 cassette wliich can be played on ajiy 
of the standard cassette machines, such as 
those distributed' by the Library of Con- 
gress and its affiliated regional libraries. 
Applicants will have a choice of using the 
cassette recording to take the exam or of 
asking the Civil SeiTice Commission to 
provide a reader. Applicants are encour- 
aged to use the cassette version to reduce 
the possibility of poor test results as a con- 
sequence of the assignment of an inade- 
quate reader. The cassette recording of the 
examination may not be available in your 
area of the country right away, but if you 
wish to use tlie cassette indicate that fact 
on your apphcation. Applicants will be 
expected to arrange for their own cassette 
machine. Your regional libraiy sliould be 
able to provide one. 

local, state ajid national levels and lias suc- 
cessfully owned and operated Los Ninos 
Kindergarten. The final winner will be an- 
nounced at the Pilot International Conven- 
tion in Miami this July. 


A cane which uses laser beams to 
detect obstacles in the path of the blind is 
being tested at Western Michigan Univer- 
sity. The cane was developed by J. Mal- 
vern Benjamin of Bionic Instalments, Inc., 
in Philadelphia, and the project was finan- 
ced by the Veterans Administration. The 
cane uses tliree light beams which bounce 
off the obstacles in their paths. One 
detects low-lying objects and can be ad- 
justed to a range of twelve feet; it signals 
the user with a low-pitched beep. A 
second beam detects large objects or per- 
sons in the path of the user and signals 
him by a mechanism which tickles his 
right index finger. A third beam warns of 
obstacles at head level, such as overhang- 
ing branches, by a high-pitched beep. 

The President's Committee on 
Employment of the Handicapped and 
Pilot International, a classified service club 
for business and professional women exec- 
utives, join forces to select the Handicap- 
ped Woman of the Year. This award is for 
overcoming a particular major handicap 
and for active participation in the better- 
ment of the community. Miss Pauline Go- 
mez of Santa F.e was selected for the 
honor covered by District 9 of Pilot Inter- 
national, which includes clubs from Den- 
ver south to El Paso and Juarez. Miss Go- 
mez, a former President of the New 
Mexico Federation of the Blind, is active 
in the National Federation of the Blind at 

Chairman James M. Copeland report- 
ed to the convention of the Virginia 
Federation of the Blind the successful 
completion of their White Cane Safety 
Day publicity campaign. Robert and 
Marion McDonald had printed and distrib- 
uted 22,000 brochures for the use of the 
Virginia Federation's local chapters. Mrs. 
Ruth Drummond, chairman for the Poto- 
mac chapter, reported that the brochures 
were distributed by Boy Scout and Girl 
Scout troops and that the Mayor of 
Alexandria issued a proclamation which 
received full newspaper coverage. Publicity 
in church bulletins and on radio stations 
was also obtained. Chairman Bill Oakley 


of the Riclimond Area Federation report- 
ed television, radio and newspaper publici- 
ty as well as the distribution of brochures 
and copies cf the President's proclama- 
tion. Mrs. Nancy Hoover, chairman of the 
Skyline Federation's campaign, reported 
distribution of proclamations and bro- 
chures by Ruritan Clubs and pubhcity in 
church bulletins. Chairman Amy Barnes of 
the Winchester Association reported proc- 
lamations by the Mayors of Winchester 
and Berkley Springs, West Virginia, with 
newspaper coverage which included a pic- 
ture of her using the white cane. The Vir- 
ginia Federation made excellent use of this 
opportunity for acquainting the pubhc 
with tire use of the white cane and the 
activities of the federation. 

•j;,i •^. ^ i^ -^ ^.i 

John Wark of the Lawrence Massa- 
chusetts FMgle Tribune writes about three 
employees of the New England Telephone 
and Telegraph Company who have 
developed an "audio ball" for use by blind 
cliiidren. Spurgeon W. Smith, Philo R. 
Dewing, and Thomas J. Murphy, members 
of the Telephone Pioneei-s of America, 
worked on the project hi tiieir spare time, 
using tlieir own funds and donations of 
equipment. The ball contains a battery 
powered electrical device which emits 
beeps that can be heard even in flight. 

The Mid-American Conference of 
Rehabiliation Teachers will hold its 1970 
biennial convention on July 21 and 22, 
preceding the AAWB Regional in Little 
Rock, Arkansas, at the Hotel Marian. Any 
person involved or interested in the field 
of rehabilitation teacliing is invited to 
attend tliis convention and is ehgible for 
membership in the Conference. Member- 
ship dues are only ten dollars for two 
years, and they may be submitted to Mrs. 
Kathr>'n Viskant, 938 Ontario, Oak Park, 
lUinois 60302. 

4< ^ ^: ^ ^ ^ 

Robert J. Smithdas, deaf-bhnd au- 
thor, poet and lecturer, received an honor- 
ary Doctor of Letters degree from 
Gallaudet College in Washington, D.C., m 
recognition of his contributions to the 
bettennent of all handicapped persons. 
Smithdas is the Community Education 
Director for the National Center for Deaf- 
Blind Yoiitlis and Adults. He is the author 
of several books of poetry and an autobio- 
graphy Life at My Figertips. He is a mem- 
ber of the Poetry Society of America and 
a fellow of the International Institute of 
Arts and Letters. 

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